Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An eHealth Plan For $20M

Christina Blizzard of The Toronto Sun writes:

There is a strong argument that government is the wrong culture to build such IT projects. In the private sector, it's often start-ups, or companies with a bottom line to satisfy that come up with the innovation and know-how to develop these programs efficiently.

On Global's Focus Ontario last week, McCarter pointed out the project has been nine years in the works, $1 billion down the drain -- and precious little to show for it. (You can catch the show at midnight tonight or at globaltoronto.com.) McCarter said it will be a "challenge" for this province to make the 2015 deadline for getting health records on line. This province is lagging embarrassingly behind all other provinces on this.

Perhaps the government should turn to one of its own universities for help.

McMaster University announced last week that it has developed a, "comprehensive, secure, web-based and open source electronic health records system which is ready to be rolled out across Canada."


The system, called OSCAR, was developed by Dr. David Chan, an associate professor with McMaster's department of family medicine.

In a press release, Dr. David Price, chair of that department, said that 8,000 family physicians in this province who are not using electronic medical records could be on-line within the next 24 months.

The cost? $20 million. Compare that to the $1 billion the government piddled down the eHealth drain.

Well said.

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