Advancing on our Shared Priority of Connecting You to Modern Health Care
TORONTO, May 29, 2023 /CNW/ - Every Canadian should be in control of their own health information through online access and benefit from it being shared securely between health professionals in the country.
However, currently only one third of Canadians can access some of their health information online. On top of that, health care providers can't easily access or share health information because systems don't always connect. This lack of available patient information can put people's lives at risk, add unnecessary or duplicative tests, and result in longer wait times and hospital stays.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces, territories, and health partners to build a modern and well-connected, world-class health care system to ensure that patients have access to safe, quality care, and are empowered to take their health into their own hands.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, unveiled our shared plan of Connecting you to Modern Health Care. This plan outlines the Shared Pan-Canadian Interoperability Roadmap, which represents a key milestone to advance the Government's commitment to secure access to electronic health information. The Roadmap, developed by Canada Health Infoway and endorsed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments (with the exception of Quebec), outlines a long-term vision towards improving health information exchange in Canada to improve health outcomes for everyone.
The Roadmap provides guidance to provinces, territories, health system managers and industry on common standards to be used to support the secure transfer of health information from different systems and to patients themselves. It will improve the quality and safety of patients' care by standardizing health information so that it can be accessed wherever patients go for care, while keeping it private and secure. Using standards for health information will also help health system administrators, researchers and decision makers better understand and compare aggregated, de-personalized health data across Canada, providing valuable insights needed to improve the health system and inform public health responses.
This commitment is part of Budget 2023 which outlined the Government of Canada's plan to invest close to $200 billion over 10 years to improve health care services for Canadians, including a commitment by all levels of government to improve how health information is collected, shared, and used by adopting common standards and policies.
The Government of Canada will continue working with provinces and territories, health data partners and other stakeholders to safely modernize Canada's health data system, which will ultimately improve health care for everyone. Health information can save lives.
"Data saves lives. Better access to health information will empower patients and is essential for health workers to be able to provide high quality health care and make more informed choices. This is an important milestone in modernizing our health care system to improve health outcomes for Canadians."
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos Minister of Health
"We are proud to be working with the Government of Canada on this crucial step towards improving access to health information for all Canadians. Along with the federal government, we are committed to achieving a more connected health care system and will leverage more than two decades of progress and experience to guide the journey. By adopting common standards, we aim to enhance patient care, reduce risks, and save lives. This commitment demonstrates our dedication to modernizing Canada's health data system and ensuring better health care for everyone."
Michael Green President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway)
FPT governments are committed to improving how de-personalized health information is collected, shared, and used and reported to Canadians to promote greater transparency on results and to help better manage public health emergencies. As part of the February 2023 announcement, building on the work of officials over the past several years on health data and digital strategies, federal, provincial, and territorial governments also agree to adopt common standards, aligned policies and shared governance related to data so that Canadians can access their own health information and benefit from it being shared between health workers across health settings and across jurisdictions so data follows the patients while protecting their privacy. Specifically, this includes a commitment to:
collaborating with the Canadian Institute for Health Information on sharing health information and developing new indicators to measure how our health care system is performing;
aligning policies and legislative frameworks to support patient access to their own health information;
advancing patient-centric principles, including patient access to health information, public engagement, equity, and Indigenous data sovereignty;
sharing public health data (e.g., vaccination data, testing data) with the Public Health Agency of Canada to help manage public health events; and,
working with Canada Health Infoway to implement the Shared Pan-Canadian Interoperability Roadmap.
The publication and endorsement of the Pan-Canadian Interoperability Roadmap is a key step towards fulfilling the commitments above. It focuses on helping Canadians in the following ways:
Preventing data blocking and easing portability within primary care;
Enabling patient access to their records;
Improving provider access to patient data at point of care through common patient summary; and
Improving care coordination and collaboration through e-referral and e-consult.
The Roadmap also sets the foundation needed for health data that is appropriately anonymized to be combined and analyzed to support research and decision making on both a local and pan-Canadian scale.
Advice provided by the Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy Expert Advisory Group informed the development of the Pan-Canadian Interoperability Roadmap.
While the Government of Quebec has not formally endorsed the Roadmap, it is our understanding that it continues to work closely with Canada Health Infoway under an existing agreement.
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