May 11, 2011
Work is underway to ensure health care providers will be able to share electronic health information for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents, who represent 47% of the province’s population.
The ConnectingGTA project will allow 700 service providers to securely share patient health information across the five GTA Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Currently, electronic health information is shared in silos within the system. Soon, all 700 service providers will be connected under one "electronic roof" – allowing patient information to move from one service provider to another within the system.
Patients will receive better, faster and more coordinated health care from their providers – and providers will be able to share information more effectively. Patients and providers will also benefit from improved productivity and more timely treatment. It will also reduce duplicate tests on patients which will save time and money.
In the project’s first months, priority patient data such as clinical reports, diagnostic images, drug information, and lab test results will be shared. Major technology pieces will also be put in place in the coming months to help providers access and exchange information more easily.
The first phase of ConnectingGTA will be completed in 2013.
ConnectingGTA is the latest in a series of eHealth Ontario milestones which include rolling out the Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS), the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption program, and the recent EMR procurement initiative for Ontario’s Community Health Centres.
Today’s announcement is part of the government’s plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.
"This is a significant milestone towards improving patient care in Ontario. ConnectingGTA will advance Ontario’s eHealth strategy by allowing seamless and secure exchange of patient information between approximately 700 health care organizations and their clinicians."
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"ConnectingGTA will improve patient care for almost half of the province’s population and lead the way for other regional health system integration hubs in Ontario.This is a perfect example of how collaboration within the health care system is changing the way patients receive care."
- Greg A. Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario
"The ConnectingGTA project represents the very essence of the work underway across Canada to place vital health information in the hands of health care professionals when they need it," said Graham Scott, Chair of the Board, Canada Health Infoway, the organization investing federal dollars in information and communications technologies for health. "Knowing is better than not knowing, particularly when care decisions are being made and Infoway is proud to have invested almost $24M in this project."
- Graham Scott, Board Chair, Canada Health Infoway
"All five GTA Local Health Integration Networks have identified the need for an integrated framework to support access to clinical data from across the care continuum. ConnectingGTA will foster collaboration among health care organizations to build towards the delivery of electronic health records."
- Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Central West Local Health Integration Network
"The ConnectingGTA project will benefit patients, clinicians, health care organizations and the health care system more broadly. In the near term, foundational initiatives are already underway and will begin delivering results to patients and clinicians over the coming months."
- Dr. Bob Bell, President and CEO, University Health Network
Neala Barton, 416-327-4388
Abigail Brown, 416-586-4238
Dan Strasbourg, 416-595-3424
Canada Health Infoway
Andrew Morrison, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
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