Canada’s generic road forward on health tech

Canada’s federal government has stated that they have been thinking long and hard about extending digital health to more Canadians. In 2012, they commissioned and funded an independent organization, Canada Health Infoway (Inforoute Santé du Canada in the mandatory bilingual terminology) to study future healthcare needs, determine where digital health could make a difference and propose a strategic plan. After surveying 500 individual Canadians, clinicians, governments and health care administrators, national associations and vendors (a small number, it seems to this Editor), their report (PDF here) centers on five opportunities for action:

  1. Bring care closer to home (telehealth)
  2. Provide easier access (e-visits, e-scheduling)
  3. Support new models of care (EHRs, care transitions, discharge summaries)
  4. Improve patient safety (e-prescribing, medication management)
  5. Enable a high performing healthcare system (clinical analytics, population health research, planning, operations, evaluation)

Does this seem a little lightweight–rather general and baseline? The six-page report doesn’t seem much more substantive than the chart summary on page 4. Your thoughts please. Also see HIT Consultant.

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