Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Improved Patient Outcomes through Meaningful Use of EMRs by Ontario Physicians

TORONTO, November 17, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario physicians using Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are reporting that EMRs enable them to improve patient care and operate more efficient practices.

"Ontario's doctors know firsthand the important role that EMRs can play in supporting the advancement of our patients' care," said Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "Physicians using EMRs report that patient safety has improved and continuity and overall quality of care has improved. We will continue to work hard to achieve our shared goal with the provincial government of ensuring every patient has an electronic medical record."

OntarioMD has been funding and supporting over 5,0001 community physicians to adopt EMRs since April 2005 as part of eHealth Ontario's EMR Adoption Program. OntarioMD collects EMR user surveys to evaluate the success of the Program and identify areas for improvement. Since 2008, more than 2,000 surveys have been collected.

Dr. Stephen Chris, Board Chair, OntarioMD, said:

"There is a lot of discussion about meaningful use and EMRs right now. Physicians participating in Ontario's EMR Adoption Program have eagerly adopted EMRs, and shown remarkable levels of meaningful use of EMRs since we first measured use in 2008. The latest 2010 survey results show further improvements in patient outcomes and even greater EMR use."

Greg Reed, CEO of eHealth Ontario, noted that,

"Considering that the majority of your health information is collected and managed by your family doctor, it is an absolute must that physicians successfully adopt EMRs within their practice in order for ehealth to be a success. Working closely with our partner OntarioMD, Ontario now has more physicians using EMRs than any other Canadian jurisdiction combined."

The latest survey results for 2010 clearly illustrate that physicians using EMRs are producing positive results including:

...90% are using EMRs regularly to write and renew prescriptions;

...90% are regularly receiving and managing lab results electronically, up from 82% in 2008;

...92% are using their EMRs to enter their encounter notes, eliminating the need for paper records;

...73% felt they were primarily paperless, up from 60% in 2008.

OntarioMD is a subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association. It manages the EMR Adoption Program on behalf of eHealth Ontario, which oversees and funds the Program.

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