A new view for health care

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information supports patient care by providing access to quality health information.

The recent addition of the HEALTHe NL Viewer to our provincial electronic health record (EHR), as outlined in the recent letter to the editor from Dr. Susan M. King (“Big step forward for health care,” Jan. 23), is an example of how the centre is doing exactly that.

The HEALTHe NL Viewer is a portal, or “door,” that gives authorized health-care

professionals, such as doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals, greater access to important patient information in the EHR.

Specifically today, it means greater access to the medication information from pharmacies via the Pharmacy Network.

In the coming weeks and months, health-care professionals in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community clinics and doctors’ offices will begin using the viewer in their day-to-day practice. They will use it to view patient medication information at the bedside, in emergency departments and in their clinics to make more informed decisions about treatments, medications and delivery of care.

Giving health-care professionals access to more comprehensive medication information at the point of care supports more informed decision-making, improved quality of care and greater patient safety.

For example, in emergency situations the Pharmacy Network, through the viewer, can inform health professionals what medications a patient is taking when the patient cannot speak for themselves.

In long-term care facilities, viewing Pharmacy Network information profiles can help verify medications for new residents, alleviating pressure on them and their families to remember what are often numerous and complex medications.

Optimal patient benefits from increased access to medication information via the viewer will be best realized when all community pharmacies and Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) are sharing the medication information they manage.

The centre continually works with pharmacies and RHAs to reach full connection. As more and more health-care professionals begin using the Pharmacy Network when treating patients, we again invite all pharmacies to connect to the network and join us in making patient care safer.

Adding the HEALTHe NL Viewer and further improving access to quality health information is another milestone in provincial EHR development, and one the centre is proud to deliver for Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Ray Dillon

chairman

Newfoundland and Labrador

 Centre for Health Information

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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