Couldn't help but share this one about our neighbors to the north. Seems like we are not the only ones with healthcare woes.
Health records scandals making all Canadians sick
Posted By LORRIE GOLDSTEIN Nov, 2009
Nine years ago, the feds and Canada's 13 provincial and territorial governments announced a $10-billion plan to develop computerized medical records for every Canadian.
Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser will report next year on the progress of the Electronic Health Records (eHealth) project, based on her audit of federal efforts and similar probes by her counterparts in five provinces. But what we already know suggests billions of taxpayers' dollars may have been wasted.
Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter has just issued a scathing report on his province's EHR efforts, concluding the government lost control of the project, which began in 2002, and has spent $1 billion with little to show for it, leaving its future mired in controversy.
The scandal included the awarding of untendered contracts to high-priced consultants, in which public servants broke rules, similar to the federal sponsorship disaster. It has prompted the resignations of the health minister and chairperson of the agency in charge of the project, and the firing of its CEO.
Now, opposition parties want the head of the previous health minister, who oversaw the project from 2003 to 2008.
In Alberta, Auditor General Fred Dunn recently issued a report sharply critical of that province's EHR project, on which an estimated $615 million has been spent.
Dunn cited the province's inability to calculate the total cost of the initiative, make a business case for it or demonstrate it's achieving the expected results.
In British Columbia, a former top health ministry bureaucrat who oversaw that province's $200-million (at least) EHR project, is under investigation by the RCMP for alleged breach of trust, while a contractor is being probed for fraud. B. C.'s auditor general and comptroller general are also investigating.
These fiascos are not what Canadians were promised in 2000 -- a seamless EHR system allowing doctors and hospitals across Canada to instantly and securely access a patient's medical records, saving $6 billion annually by eliminating unnecessary duplication in diagnostic testing, while dramatically reducing deaths and suffering caused by prescription drug errors.
It's time to either fix or scrap EHR -- before Fraser uncovers even more horrors.
Aug 6, 2009
How much does it cost to implement the new EHR (Electronic Health Records) systems that are demanded by the government? One group, Kaiser Permanente took 7- years to switch to EHR system and it cost $4.2 billion so far to implement an electronic health records system at all facilities. It is not finished yet. Numbers for EHR implementations are not included in the CBO estimates of cost for the healthcare bill.