Lack of interoperability/connectivity

There are no apparent comprehensive metrics on the state of interoperability in health care Canada, but available evidence suggests there is a long way to go.

The most recent data on EMR connectivity are from surveys conducted by Canada Health Infoway among the public and physicians in 2018.

The physician survey found the following EMR functionality for the family physician respondents:

  • 59% indicated that they could send patient referrals to specialists or other providers;
  • 29% indicated that they can receive electronic confirmation of appointments for referred patients;
  • 25% indicated they could receive electronic messages/clinical notes from a community pharmacy;
  • 16% indicated that they can electronically exchange patient clinical summaries with physicians outside their practice.

The 2018 survey of Canadian adults showed low levels of connectivity between patients and physicians:

  • 22% indicated that they can currently access their medical records electronically;
  • 17% indicated that they can make an appointment electronically;
  • 10% indicated that they could consult with a health provider online; and
  • 10% indicated that they could send an electronic message to their doctor or regular place of care.

  •  From your perspective, what are the top priorities to address interoperability of electronic medical/health records across the health care system?
  • What are the barriers that need to be overcome?