The Sunrise Health Region is continuing to move toward a fully integrated electronic-based information management system.
The vision of the plan is "Get the right information to the right person at the right time, while ensuring; that access and disclosure of information is in accordance with provincial legislation," detailed a report circulated at the regular meeting of the SHR Board Thursday.
"The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is not a comprehensive database of a patient's information, but rather a set of information technology services and solutions designed to ensure that pertinent patient information can be shared by clinicians at the point of care."
Lorelei Stusek Vice-president of Corporate Services with SHR covered work being carried out in terms of the Information Management Plan as part of a report on her overall portfolio. She said in terms of connecting all those who need access to patient information, which is gathered from a range of health care areas, is a major challenge.
But the goal is one where a doctor can draw on the results of blood tests, x-rays, information gathered at emergency admitting, or what is in a patient's regular file when needed at the push of a button.
The challenges include how to ensure patient privacy, and allocate manpower to do the work.
Stusek's report noted a "lack of resources at eHealth to adequately respond to our needs in a timely manner, and a lack of application integration, which is reducing user adoption. Silos systems with pieces of information in each application."
Staffing within the Region also limit the uptake on the system.
"Sunrise Health Region staff shortages hamper ability for front-line staff to devote extended periods of time to provide input and validation, which is required for the development of each electronic health record component," stated the report.
In terms of patient privacy Stusek said that is an ongoing priority they focus much attention on, including to provide ongoing privacy awareness and education to staff, volunteers and public.
The work within the region to keep Information Management Plan moving forward falls to an Information Technology Department which is already dealing with a massive integrated system with a staff of 10 full time equivalents and a $2.563 million budget.
The network within the region has nearly 3,300 users, and more than 1,300 computers.
As an indication of the traffic levels the system deals with, Stusek said in the last year software blocked 3.225 million spam emails, up almost one million from the previous year.
In addition a total of 765,000 viruses were detected and blocked by the Central Virus Management System, she said.
The level of work with the IT Department has now become a challenge in itself, offered Stusek, whose report noted "As of June 2012 we have 8300 hours worth of tasks (unassigned, unscheduled and one time) to complete. (This is above the current tasks that are currently being attended to).
"We also have a total of 4935 hours of recurring tasks that we have not attended to. A trend of too many recurring tasks means important maintenance tasks are having to be dropped because of fires or many projects."