Several more primary health care sites across the Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) are experiencing the benefits of electronic recording technology.
An electronic medical record (EMR) securely stores and retrieves medical information, enabling health care providers to have quicker, safer access to their patients’ personal health information.
In 2010, the SCHR's first primary health care site in the rural west region – which includes Bengough, Radville and Pangman – implemented an EMR using the Med Access program. The Coronach Primary Health site became the second to go live in November of 2012.
Most recently, the communities of Weyburn, Carlyle and Carnduff began to experience the benefits of the new technology. Plans for further implementation to primary health care sites in Lampman, Midale and Kipling are in the works.
SCHR director of primary health care Wanda Miller said there are benefits of an EMR.
"An electronic medical record saves time for both patient and clinician because all patient information is available electronically in a secure environment," said Miller. "This also enables all patient information to be shared on one electronic chart by the various providers who are involved in the patient’s care."
Miller acknowledges the partnership and collaboration that is required to plan and implement the EMR in regional sites.
"This has been a long-awaited implementation for many of our sites – some of which have been established since 2007," said Miller. "This could not have happened without great efforts from our primary health care staff, doctors, nurse practitioners, SCHR information systems and a supportive team from eHealth Saskatchewan. They all worked very hard to implement the EMR."
The region has worked with each site and the users to prepare for the implementation of an EMR through staff surveys, implementation meetings and training sessions.
Personal health information used in the EMR remains confidential and SCHR’s team of health care providers take great care to protect it. Information is kept in strict confidence, and is used or disclosed only as authorized by the patient or required by law.
The EMR stores only the minimum amount of personal health information required to plan, manage and provide services.