Health People, Healthy North
Electronic Medical Record - EMR

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS


The Northern Health Region began using Electronic Medical Records in 2012 to store your personal health information.  There are many benefits to doing this.  It improves efficiency, makes records more readable and increases the security of health information.

What is an Electronic Medical Record?

The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a secure software program that enables health care providers to improve the quality of care for their patients.

The EMR is used to:
  • Securely store and retrieve medical information needed to plan and manage quality services.
  • Enable your health care provider to share your personal health information with other members of your care team and other authorized health services to you.
  • Reduce lost papers by faxing directly from the EMR to pharmacies and other offices.
Will paper charts still exist?

The existing paper charts will be retained for the time period required by law or other professional body.

What personal health information is collected in the EMR?

The personal health information that your health care provider enters and stores in the EMR is used to provide medical services. This information is the same information that is routinely entered in your personal medical chart, and will include:
  • Registration information including name, address, gender, date of birth and health services number.
  • Clinical information including treatment notes, prescriptions and laboratory test results
Who has access to your health information?
  • Healthcare providers directly involved with your care
  • Support staff and associated programs who register and schedule patients.
  • Other healthcare providers who you have been referred to within the Northern Health Region.
How is my information accessed?

In the EMR your personal health information (clinic notes, tests results, prescriptions) should only be accessed by your health care providers when they are directly involved in your care.  This access may occur from outside of your primary health care centre (such as hospital emergency room and outpatient program offices).

Is my personal health information safe and confidential?

Your personal health information is confidential and the Northern Health Region takes great care to protect your personal health information. Information is kept in strict confidence and is used or disclosed only as authorized or required by law.  Privacy requirements outlined in the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) apply to the EMR.

Your personal health information will only be shared with another health care provider if they are involved in your care and are authorized to view your information.

There will be regular random audits done to check on inappropriate use or access to your health information.

What do I do if I don’t want my information in the EMR shared?

While there are many benefits to the EMR, it is recognized that some people may not be comfortable with the electronic sharing of their personal health information between authorized health care providers.  Patients may choose a masking option, requesting that personal health information in the EMR be masked and made unavailable for view.  Individuals who choose these options should talk to their health care provider for more information.

All access to personal health information (including masked information) is tracked,  including the time and date of the access, the name of the health care provider accessing the information, and the reason for accessing the information.

Individuals may provide consent to an authorized health care provider to view masked information in the EMR.

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