The centre highlighted those achievements in the areas of provincial health information systems, quality health information and stakeholder engagement at the organization’s annual general meeting, held Wednesday at the Ramada Inn in St. John’s.
“This past fiscal year of 2016/17 marked significant progress on several fronts for the NL Centre for Health Information. We hit new milestones over the course of the year and set the stage for long-term success,” Dr. Kris Aubrey-Bassler, NLCHI board chair, said in a news release.
“The progress we are highlighting today was made possible through the leadership, dedication, and efforts of staff and our health-system partners. As we work towards reaching our goals for the coming year, we remain committed to our vision of improving health through quality health information,” Aubrey-Bassler added.
The centre’s 2014-17 business plan outlined key priorities in these three strategic areas and culminated with the achievements being announced.
“Our success in 2016/2017 has moved HEALTHe NL, the provincial electronic health record (EHR), much closer to being a complete patient profile, and among the most comprehensive EHR systems in the country,’’ Steve Clark, NLCHI’s interim president and CEO.
“We continue to focus our priorities on programs, products, and services that best serve the health care system and our partners, and support informed decision-making by providing quality health information when and where it is needed.”
NL Centre for Health Information AGM highlights
The following are highlights from the three main components of successes celebrated by the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information in 2016-17:
Provincial Health Information Systems
• By March 31, 2017, the Centre had connected 195 of 201 (97 per cent) provincial pharmacies to the Pharmacy Network, giving authorized health care professionals greater access to important patient medication information. All pharmacies were connected to the Pharmacy Network by May 2017.
• In 2016/2017, the Centre continued to integrate data from Central Health and Western Health into HEALTHe NL. The number of health care professionals actively using HEALTHe NL increased by nine per cent with over 3,000 health clinicians or authorized providers who have created accounts within HEALTHe NL.
• The Provincial Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Program was formally launched in June 2016 under the brand eDOCSNL. As of March 31, 2017, 60 physicians across the province had implemented the eDOCSNL EMR solution in their practice. An EMR digitizes patient information in a physician’s clinic that has been traditionally stored and recorded in paper files.
Quality Health Information
• The Centre continued to provide extensive health analytic and evaluation services to inform health service delivery, policy and programs. Analytic and evaluation services supported the Department of Health and Community Services in the development of a provincial health analytics action plan and carried out work towards an enhanced health analytic environment for the province.
• In 2016/2017, the Centre conducted and supported a number of evaluations of provincial programs and initiatives including the Community Rapid Response Team initiative, the Provincial Cancer Control Policy Framework, the Mental Health Care and Treatment Act, the Adult Protection Act and the provincial medical transportation assistance programs.
• In 2016/2017, the Centre expanded the health data management system to provide a modern storage and reporting solution for the Centre’s vital event datasets. This included electronic data exchange with Service NL (Vital Statistics) that enabled the Centre to manage key datasets more efficiently and effectively and enhanced the quality of data available for analytic use.
• The Centre partnered with health care regulatory bodies including the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, to conduct accredited health profession education programs across the province in 2016/2017. The education programs engaged clinicians about use and integration of HEALTHe NL in practice.
• The Centre participated in and presented at numerous health care professionals’ and stakeholder events, activities and conferences that increased awareness and supported adoption and use of Centre programs and systems. These included the NL Medical Association Annual General Meeting, the College of Family of Physicians Conference, the Nurse Practitioner Conference and the Annual Janeway Kids Rock Conference.