"Our aim is to implement information and communications technologies that will build a secure and accessible system of electronic health records for care providers in the Laval region", stated Minister Dion. "It reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to developing an efficient health system through the better use of information and communications technologies."
Health Canada's contribution to the Laval project will extend the information network to local general practitioners and specialists who will be able to exchange clinical information with the region's health institutions. This exchange of information will give physicians greater access to diagnoses, results of examinations, and patient drug information.
"I know health care workers in this region are experiencing heavy workloads. This project will benefit the community of Laval by facilitating the continuity of care between institutions and improving the physician's ability to provide individualised care to patients", noted Raymonde Folco.
"I am confident that this innovative project will benefit physicians and other health care workers, as well as provide greater accessibility to, and continuity of, ambulatory care services to all Laval residents. This project will allow the development of practical solutions which will serve as an exemplary project to encourage similar initiatives elsewhere in Québec and across Canada", added Carole-Marie Allard.
Funding originates from the Canada Health Infostructure Partnerships Programme (CHIPP), a two-year, $80 million federal programme launched by Minister Rock last year, along with the Government of Canada's rural health strategy. CHIPP supports collaboration, innovation, and renewal in health care delivery through the use of information and communication technologies. Investing primarily in telehealth and electronic health records model projects, the Programme helps improve accessibility and quality of care for all Canadians while enhancing the efficiency and long term viability of the health system.
The federal government's investment in health care information and communications technologies was first highlighted in the 1997 Budget, when $50 million was allotted to the development of the Canadian Health Infostructure, and in the 1999 Budget when a further $366 million was allocated over a four-year period. The signature of the Health Agreement by all First Ministers, in September 2000, laid the foundation for ongoing federal, provincial and territorial collaboration in developing and implementing the Canadian Health Infostructure.
Funding for this project was provided for in previous budgets and is therefore built into the existing financial framework. More news about additional CHIPP initiatives is available in the VMW November 2001 article Two Eastern Ontario telehealth projects receive $4,5 million in funding from Canadian Government.