Department of Health and Wellness of Prince Edward Island

10/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/15/2021 12:18

Health care providers moving to Electronic Medical Record

More than 170 community-based health-care providers have signed up to adopt the provincial Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to help improve and streamline patient care for Islanders.

The move to electronic patient charting will make it easier for health-care providers to securely share health information with other members of the health-care team, track patient's progress in managing chronic illnesses and automatically identify potentially harmful medication interactions for patients on multiple medications.
As of September, eight clinics and 25 service providers had adopted the EMR. By the end of March 2022, the solution will be in use across most medical practices in Prince Edward Island.

"Accurate, accessible information is key to providing high quality health care. EMR systems provide instant access to patient information, reduce the chance of drug interactions and may be helpful in early identification and treatment of health concerns."

- Health and Wellness Minister Ernie Hudson

The provincewide EMR roll-out will also bring benefits to the health-care system. The province will have access to quality data about the delivery of some health-care services and trends that can be used to inform future decisions in where investments and supports are needed most.
As the system is implemented, there will be potential to implement a patient portal that would allow individuals to play a more direct role in their care. Clinics and services providers can use the EMR to implement services such as:

  • booking appointments online;
  • conducting medical appointments by video;
  • completing questionnaires prior to a visit to help the nurse/doctor understand medical concerns; or
  • receiving appointment reminders or messages from the care team.

"The ability to access my patient records from anywhere with an internet connection and the improved communication with staff, patients, pharmacies and other physicians has been great," said Dr. Jeff Craswell, General Surgeon in Charlottetown.

The EMR project is being implemented by the Department of Health and Wellness in partnership with the Medical Society of PEI, Health PEI, and IT Shared Services.

"The interest from my colleagues demonstrates that the medical community is ready to adopt an EMR, to modernize and improve how we provide patient care," said Dr. Kristy Newson, EMR program co-lead. "The widespread interest, combined with our decision to use only one EMR solution, will put PEI in a position to be the most electronically-connected health-care system in the country."

As each practice prepares to adopt an EMR, patients of that clinic will be notified. To support the implementation, clinics will close for an average of two days to allow for technology set-up and training.

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Health and Wellness
902-314-6367
[email protected]

Backgrounder

Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

An EMR is an electronic version of an individual's medical chart.

An electronic patient chart system will make it easier for health-care providers to securely share health information with other members of the health-care team, track patient progress in managing chronic illnesses and automatically identify potentially harmful medication interactions for patients on multiple medications.
Implementation of the EMR will typically involve a short-term interruption of service to help clinics learn and transition as quickly as possible to the system and to return their focus to patient care.

As with any new piece of major technology, there may be a learning curve and adjustments in the weeks after implementation.

We expect that in time the electronic medical record will lead to a more positive and streamlined healthcare experience for both patients and healthcare providers.