The New Brunswick Department of Health has announced that it is investing $12.5 million over four years to implement a new electronic health record system to streamline all records to one database.
The goal is to more effectively assess and prevent the spread of communicable diseases, thus allowing residents of New Brunswick to toss away paper medical cards that were once their only record for vaccinations like the flu shot.
It’s called the Public Health Information Solution, and the New Brunswick Department of Health modeled it after the neighbouring One Person One Record project in Nova Scotia. But that project has had its own set of issues.
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Nova Scotia announced the project in 2016 and they are still working on creating one clinical information system. Currently they have multiple electronic systems for hospitals and doctors that do not communicate with each other.
The objective of the new structure in New Brunswick is to improve the management of vaccines, immunizations, and potential diseases in one place.
“I think it’s a great convenience, I tend to lose things so this will be a big help for me for sure,” says Fredericton resident Shelby Wagner.
“When you digitize something you’re inevitably going to build more efficiency and more effectiveness, so I’m likely going to be getting that information faster. I’m likely going to be getting that information in a more regular fashion as well and probably even more accurate,” says Dr. Serge Melanson, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society.
Melanson is confident this new change will help medical professionals to better understand the overall health of the population of the province.
This technological advancement in record taking is a part of a Community eHealth IT Strategy and will be implemented in three phases over the next two years. The first phase is starting in February, the second in July and the final phase will be August 2020.