More Than 5 Million Ontarians Benefiting From Program

November 2, 2010 (Ottawa, ON) – Almost 5,500 doctors now manage patients’ health information electronically, allowing more than 5 million Ontarians to benefit from having an electronic medical record – an increase of more than 80 per cent in just one year.

With electronic medical records, patients can be confident that their doctors will be able to access their information, such as their latest lab results, quickly and easily. Patient safety is enhanced by electronic records because they help doctors prevent medication errors when writing and renewing prescriptions and enables doctors to provide more preventative care.

Electronic medical records can also eliminate duplication of effort during a patient’s visit by providing secure access to standardized information. In addition, doctors can receive information from hospitals and labs faster, allowing for better coordination of care among health care professionals.

Investing in electronic medical records is part of the province’s Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

“A modern, high quality health care system includes paperless medical records. Ontario is now leading the way in this regard, which makes health care for patients quicker and more efficient.”

Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Electronic medical records are integral to electronic health records - about 80 per cent of health data is captured in physicians’ offices. Electronic records connected to hospitals and provincial health databases will provide a comprehensive and secure picture of a patient’s health.”

Greg A. Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario

“Ontario’s doctors know firsthand the tremendous benefits of electronic medical records to patients and we believe they are a critical component towards improving and strengthening our health care system. Physicians using electronic records report improvements in patient safety and continuity and quality of care. Our priority is getting this technology into more doctors’ offices as soon as possible.”

Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the Ontario Medical Association

“The Taddle Creek Family Health Team has been using electronic medical records since 2005. The seamless way that we can communicate with one another in real time using our electronic records augments the comprehensive care we provide.”

Dr. Pauline Pariser, Lead Physician of Taddle Creek Family Health Team

eHealth Ontario Accomplishments

The Government of Ontario has provided eHealth Ontario with the following mandate:

  • To provide ehealth services and related support for the effective and efficient planning, management and delivery of health care in Ontario.
  • To develop ehealth services strategy and operational policy.
  • To protect the privacy of individuals whose personal information or personal health information is collected, transmitted, stored or exchanged by and through the agency, in accordance with privacy legislation.


eHealth Ontario is focusing its efforts on priorities fundamental to building comprehensive electronic health records by 2015.

Current initiatives

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption Program

  • Almost 5,500 doctors have been funded to adopt electronic medical records to enhance patient care, improve health outcomes and increase patient safety.
  • A year ago, over 3,000 were funded
  • Replacing paper with electronic records means fewer errors and more time spent on patient care, and easier clinical data analysis.
  • Physicians, hospitals, specialists and providers in the circle of care can share information securely, quickly and easily.



  • This year, OTN will deliver more than 90,000 patient visits; patients get care as close to home as possible.
  • In the past year alone, more than 31,000 telemedicine clinical consultations have taken place in northern Ontario.
  • Nearly 3,000 health care professionals in more than 925 sites across the province use the Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN) to deliver care to their patients.
  • Since 2006, Telemedicine has saved approximately 134 million kilometers in patient travel.



  • The Telestroke Program provides stroke patients in remote areas of the province with 24/7 access to life-saving emergency care that they might not receive without this real-time expert neurological assessment.


Emergency Neurosurgery Image Transfer System (ENITS)

  • Neurologists at any one of Ontario’s 13 neurosurgery centres can examine scans 24/7 and assess if a patient with head trauma needs to be transferred to another facility to receive acute care or recommend immediate treatment procedure.
  • Over 300 unnecessary transfers have been avoided to date. Transfers are very risky for patients and they cause significant anxiety for patients’ families. They are also expensive.


Diagnostic Imaging / Picture Archiving and Communications System (DI/PACS)

  • 148 hospitals in Ontario now use digital diagnostic images electronically instead of film.
  • Using DI/PACS avoids the physical transfer of images and duplication of tests, saving time and yielding faster results for patients.
  • Radiation exposure to patients is reduced and health care costs are minimized.
  • For the first time, all 26 hospital entities in the Erie St. Clair and South West Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are now able to access filmless diagnostic images including x-rays, CT scans and MRIs through the Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network.


Drug Profile Viewer (DPV)

  • DPV displays medication histories in emergency departments, hospital wards and clinics and in-patient pharmacies for the 2.3 million patients who are Ontario Drug Benefit recipients. (These patients account for 43 per cent of all prescriptions written within the province.)
  • It enables physicians to identify potential drug interactions, saving lives and ensuring confidence in treatment plans for patients.



  • eHealth Ontario launched Canada’s first ePrescribing program at two demonstration sites (Group Health Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and Georgian Bay Family Health Team in Collingwood).
  • ePrescribing improves quality of patient care by giving doctors and pharmacists access to reliable, timely prescription and dispensing information.
  • ePrescribing saves lives and reduces visits to emergency departments and physician offices by preventing adverse drug reactions caused by illegible paper prescriptions.
  • Electronic authentication, authorization and delivery of prescriptions, reduces the potential for prescription fraud and diversion.


Hospital Report Manager (HRM)

  • HRM sends hospital reports within minutes to the physician’s EMR system instead of sending paper reports or faxes.
  • Patients do not wait for information to follow them – physicians have the most up-to-date information about their patient before he or she arrives for an appointment.
  • Patients get more timely access to care and their anxiety while waiting for results and treatment plans is greatly reduced.
  • Over 100 doctors are using the HRM. It can be used between any hospital and physician office using OntarioMD certified EMR systems.


Chronic Disease Management System - Diabetes

  • Diabetes is a chronic disease that is a serious and growing health problem. It is the sixth leading cause of death in Ontario and Canada. Diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, amputation, blindness and end-stage renal failure leading to dialysis.
  • In Ontario, more than 1,100,000 people (8.3 per cent of the population) are living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The number is expected to increase by another 734,000 over the next decade to 1.9 million by 2020.
  • Use of the Chronic Disease Management System - Diabetes (CDMS-Diabetes) by health care providers will save Ontarians’ lives, limbs and vision.
  • The Diabetes Registry will help patients and health care providers manage care for Ontarians with diabetes according to recommended guidelines.
  • Following a stringent procurement process, the chosen vendor consortium, (CGI, AxSys, and Endeca) was recently announced.

For further information please contact:


Ivan Langrish
Minister’s Office
Tel: 416-326-3986

Heather Brown
Communications Advisor,
eHealth Ontario

Paul Kilbertus
Tel:416-623-1248 ext.5316

David Jensen
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Tel: 416-314-6197

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