Canada’s Digital Health Initiatives

Canada Health Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada.

Digital health refers to the use of information technology/electronic communication tools, services and processes to deliver health care services or to facilitate better health. Infoway’s vision is healthier Canadians through innovative digital health solutions.

Canada’s digital health initiative involves creating a network of systems to securely connect and share health information with authorized care providers. Increasingly, it is providing tools and information to empower the citizens to better understand and manage their health and the health of their families.

Infoway’s key investments in digital health include:

  • Electronic Health Records – a secure, integrated collection of a person’s encounters with the health care system which provides a comprehensive digital view of a patient’s health history.
  • Electronic Medical Records – a computer-based patient record specific to a single clinical practice, such as a family health team or group practice.
  • Clinician e-Services – consist of e-referrals, synoptic reporting, Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), e-prescribing, e-medication reconciliation and decision support. These services can help clinicians gain timely access to critical information, improve decision making and enhance workflow.
  • Consumer Health e-Services – consist of e-booking of appointments; e-visits with care providers; electronic requests for refilling medications; e-views of health information; and telehomecare. The aim is to help patients to take an active role in their care, to gain better access to the services they need, and to improve the quality of the care they receive.
  • e-Prescribing – a secure, electronic creation and transmission of a prescription between an authorized prescriber and a patient’s pharmacy of choice using an electronic medical record (EMR) or a standalone application, and pharmacy management software. By eliminating paper and hand written prescriptions, e-prescribing can improve patient safety, convenience and the overall quality of care.

Infoway’s Health Engagement Program

Infoway engage with and provide collaboration platforms for clinicians, jurisdictions, change management professionals, researchers, academics and others in order to help build and share knowledge. They also help accelerate digital health solution implementations, adoption and effective use to achieve clinical value through the use of tools and leading practices.

e-Prescribe is Infoway’s pilot project. To improve medication management, Infoway is working with the provinces and territories to develop a multi-jurisdiction e-prescribing (eRx) service, PrescribeIT™, that will facilitate better, safer and more appropriate prescription drug use by Canadians.

community engagement

Benefits of PrescribeIT™ – an important part of medical safety. Source: Canada Health Infoway

During 2017-2018, PrescribeIT™ will be launched in a limited production release in two provinces. Active engagement with prescribers and pharmacists, retail pharmacies, electronic medical record and pharmacy management system suppliers as well as regulatory colleges, professional associations and jurisdiction partners is critical to the success of this initiative.

Tracking and Reporting on stakeholder engagement activities

PrescribeIT™ implemented Darzin to help record all interactions with key stakeholders for the system roll-out. Health engagement activities such as pharmacist consultation workshops, vendor sessions, research group discussions, conversations with pharmacies, lunch meetings with key stakeholders, communications with federal and state government departments are captured in Darzin. Reliable, accessible records of engagement activities are important for Infoway to accurately provide information or proof to key stakeholders on who has met and how many times they have met, topics discussed and key stakeholder input and feedback.

Stakeholders are also grouped in different contact groups in Darzin to facilitate Infoway in distributing project updates, quick wins, lessons learned to targeted groups. The PrescribeIT™ team also ultilises the task management function in Darzin to make sure team members follow up on actions arised from meetings or commitments made to stakeholders.


community engagement

Infoway has made significant progress toward the launch of PrescribeIT™.Source: Canada Health Infoway