Recently IBM announced a C$22.5 million project with the Government of Manitoba to enhance healthcare throughout the province with the creation of an electronic healthcare records (EHR) system. This technology will offer a secure and quick access to pertinent patient information to healthcare providers, which can improve the efficiency and quality of patient care while reducing healthcare costs.
Currently information required to treat patients is being spread throughout many hospitals, clinics and other institutions across the province, which can mean a medical professional has only limited access to the vital medical information required to make critical decisions. As a result, choices can be based on partial, inaccurate, and sometimes out-of-date information, leading to a decreased level in the quality of care and unnecessary costs.
According to IBM press release, IBM will be leading a consortium to deliver to Manitoba a solution that enables cross-discipline integration of information to allow clinicians access to real-time, integrated clinical information from a variety of sources, removing barriers that currently exist. Manitoba EHR will be using the dbMotion™ Solution, whose proven e-health software for health information exchange has been operational in several countries and large healthcare facilities for almost 10 years.
Once implemented, Manitoba’s electronic health records system will enable secure sharing of information about a patient’s health to authorized healthcare professionals across the province. With this EHR system, continuity of care for patients will be maintained regardless of the number of provincial healthcare providers a patient visits. This will reduce the chance of medication errors, duplication of treatments and unnecessary medical testing — issues that are very costly to the province each year.
Consistent with national and international standards for health information exchange and security, the design and development of the EHR system for the citizens of Manitoba has begun with early deployment planned for 2010. Using a highly focused adoption strategy and team, IBM and Manitoba are working toward realizing tangible benefits for Manitobans via the EHR.