Are you interested in contributing to HLWIKI International? contact
To browse other articles on a range of HSL topics, see the A-Z index.
- 13 January 2014
See also Canadian consumer health information (CHI) portal | Electronic health records (EHRs) | Health informatics | Medical informatics | Research Portal for Academic Librarians
Canada Health Infoway is a federally-funded, not-for-profit initiative comprised of (and advised by) Canada's fourteen federal, provincial and territorial health ministries. Canada Infoway is charged with promoting and tracking the use of electronic health information and patient health record systems. Infoway has invested a lot of money in a pan-Canadian framework of electronic patient record systems so that ministries, regional authorities, health organizations and vendors can implement provincial electronic patient record systems. EPR systems are important in 21st century health care to convey patient information, and enable decision-making in patient care. The result is the creation of a modern, sustainable health system with improved accessibility, quality and productivity. The public sector leads in the use of EPR solutions but Infoway provides leadership and strategic assistance in collaboration with the provinces and territories. Infoway has approved more than 250 projects since its inception: Diagnostic Imaging Systems, Drug Information Systems, Infostructure, Innovation and Adoption, Interoperable electronic patient record systems, Laboratory Information Systems, Public Health Surveillance, Registries and Telehealth. In 2007, Infoway's Board approved an investment strategy for a tenth program called Patient Access to Quality Care.
Infoway's five strategic pillars
Infoway's business model is built on five complementary strategies which will assist provinces and territories to accelerate reform to:
- participate in health care renewal — support national, jurisdiction and local initiatives to strengthen health care
- collaborate with partners — work together with our public and private sector partners to ensure progress and alignment
- target investments — accelerate investment in and replication of solutions that support health system transformation and innovation
- support solution deployment — provide expertise to partners to implement electronic health information solutions and to monitor projects
- promote solution adoption and benefits realization — facilitate clinical leadership, advance best practices in the clinician adoption of solutions, as well as support the measurement and realization of benefits.
- Every province and territory benefits from new health information systems to modernize the Canadian health system. Further, 50 per cent of Canadians will have their own electronic health record so authorized professionals can provide them with health services.
- To foster development and adoption of electronic health information systems with compatible standards and communications technologies on a pan-Canadian basis, with tangible benefits to Canadians.
- To build on existing initiatives and pursue collaborative relationships in pursuit of our mission.
- A high-quality, sustainable and effective Canadian health care system supported by an infostructure that provides residents of Canada and their health care providers with timely, appropriate and secure access to the right information when and where they enter into the health care system. Respect for privacy is fundamental to this vision.
- Infoway's funding agreement requires it to: "incorporate the protection of personal health information in its activities in accordance with applicable laws and privacy principles." These laws refer to the provincial and territorial laws and policies that dictate how personal health information is handled.
To read about Infoway's commitment to privacy, see the White Paper on Information Governance of the Interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR).
Canada Health Infoway recently launched its ImagineNation Ideas Challenge, asking Canadians how they would improve health care through innovation in information and communications technologies (ICT). Infoway is looking for bold, new ideas - or creative combinations of existing ideas - and will award more than $35,000 to recognize the leading ideas. All Canadians - whether they work in the health system, receive health services, or care about the future of health care in Canada - are invited to participate.
- Alvarez RC. The promise of e-health: a Canadian perspective. eHealth Int. 2002;1:4.
- Bahaadinbeigy K, Yogesan K, Wootton R. MEDLINE versus EMBASE and CINAHL for telemedicine searches. Telemed J E Health. 2010 Oct;16(8):916-9.
- Barron S, Manhas S. Electronic health record projects in Canada: participation options for Canadian health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2011;32(3):137–143.
- Collins SA, Currie LM, Bakken S, Vawdrey DK. Health literacy screening instruments for eHealth applications: a systematic review. J Biomed Inform. 2012 Jun;45(3):598–607.
- Conference Board of Canada. Who's doing what in the Canadian health system: an inventory of research organizations, 2012.
- Greenhalgh T, Wieringa S. Is it time to drop the 'knowledge translation' metaphor? A critical literature review. J R Soc Med. 2011 Dec;104(12):501-9.
- Leger M. The Canada health infoway: a vital link to the future. Canadian Government Executive. 2000;6(3).
- Jennett PA, Scott RE, and Hunter J. Models of telehealth: an invitational workshop. Montreal, QC, Canada: CANARIE and Canada Health Infoway, 2006.
- Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Report of the Auditor General of Canada. Chapter 4—Electronic Health Records. 2009.
- Showell C, Nøhr C. How should we define eHealth, and does the definition matter? Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;180:881–4.