Canada’s premier conference on health information technology – #ehealth2016 – is now less than a month away.
That means it’s a good time to start to contemplate some of the big questions facing the health IT community in Canada and wondering whether this mega-meeting hosted in Vancouver, courtesy of COACH, Infoway and CIHI will provide any answers to these questions.
At its worst, this annual meeting can be an annoying combination of sometimes irrelevant keynote speakers and simultaneous sessions that do not live up to their titles/abstracts. But over the past decade e-health (however one chooses to write the name – hyphen, no hyphen, capital on ‘e’ or no capital on ‘e’ etc.) has become THE meeting for those interested in health IT to network, hear leaders in the field and gain insights into really interesting work going on at local/regional and provincial/territorial levels.
As an observer, I would suggest a few interesting questions this conference may help to provide answers for:
- With the death or evolution of the big dinosaur programs for funding physician EMRs (POSP, PITO etc.) what is being done to continue to involve and engage physicians in improving how they use electronic records to improve care?
- What is Infoway planning on doing with its new infusion of funding courtesy of the last federal budget?
- Is patient engagement a thing in Canada in health IT and if so what does it mean?
- Is the vendor space for EMRs and EHRs going to continue to consolidate ?
- And that interoperability issue – is anything substantive happening to better connect physicians and hospitals.
- Big data. (enough said).
- Are hospitals and practitioners adapting to the mobile revolution in health?
- Are these the correct questions to be asking? At HIMSS this year there was a big shift towards discussing digital connectivity beyond the electronic record and major discussions about data security in health. Should Canada be having those discussions too.
Inquiring minds want to know.