Supporting our health-care workers means providing the tools they need to succeed. To do this, we're investing in systems and technology. In particular, we're working to make patient records and provincial health-provider information more readily accessible.
With the right tools, health-care professionals can communicate and collaborate with greater ease and perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
Electronic health records, commonly known as EHRs, are secure and private lifetime records of an individual's health and care history. They provide authorized health-care providers with immediate access to their patients' health histories and contain everything from laboratory and radiology test results to past treatments, including prescription drugs and immunizations. Through EHRs, health-care professionals make more-informed clinical decisions, make more effective diagnoses, implement better treatments, and increase patient safety. At the same time, access to this tool means increased efficiency and improved access to services for our health-care system.
Nova Scotia is investing $28-million dollars to implement the electronic provincial consolidated health record, which will link clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other points of care together and grant authorized professionals access to their patient's EHRs from anywhere.
Not only will our health-care professionals benefit from better access to patient records, they will enjoy an increased ability to coordinate patient care.
Nova Scotia's provider registry is like an electronic 'yellow-pages' that includes important information on our health care workers. It will give health-care professionals comprehensive and clear information about providers and facilities across the province.
More than $800,000 is being invested in new equipment and technology as part of the Picture Archive and Communications System (PACS) expansion project. The project will replace nearly all film-based imaging in the province with faster, safer and more streamlined processes. PACS gives physicians instant access to diagnostic imaging test results including CT scans and ultrasounds.
Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to establish a province-wide Telehealth network in 1999. The Nova Scotia Telehealth Network is focused on improving patient access to health-care services regardless of where they live. It enables rural health-care professionals to access support services. This video-conferencing approach also facilitates consultations across the province. Today, we are looking at new ways to use Telehealth, such as in long-term-care facilities.