Saturday, May 3, 2008

Will Pan Canadian standards for our electronic health records leave Canadian snow birds out in the cold?

Industry leaders from Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), Canadian Healthcare Information Technology Trade Association (CHITTA, the Health Division of Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)), and the Association of Health Technology Industry (AITS) have formed a task force to accelerate and promote the transition to a new set of pan-Canadian health information technology standards – intended to accelerate electronic health records in Canada.


The task force will collaboratively work to promote the adoption of pan-Canadian standards, especially with point of service systems, by engaging clinicians, health care providers and vendors. Involving these stakeholders will support the planning required to ensure the interoperable electronic health record (iEHR) is leveraged and the adoption of pan-Canadian standards is accelerated.

So . . . On the one hand: Infoway and partners have formed a task force with a mandate for a new set of pan-Canadian health information technology standards. But why just “pan-Canadian”? It sounds like future Snow Birds could be left out in the cold when they need care during their winter sojourns in warmer climates. They will be able to get their money but with their Canadian standards may not be able to get their blood type. (Is it A negative or O negative?)

On the other hand: Infoway acknowledges that Microsoft and Google will be offering (with considerable clout) personal health records to Canadian consumers. See Infoway has personal health record concerns from

Our inventive IT industries [most of them multi-nationals] will hopefully carry the day and ensure a global standard that also works for Canadians. Maybe a "Panstandard?"

1 comment:

JeffH said...

Don't forget to consider the chilling effect the Patriot Act will have on the up-take of US company PHRs by Canadians.
A Canadian PHR has that going for it, which is a lot.