Elec­tronic health files next year in Town­ships

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Sher­brooke

Early next year, when the bugs are ironed out and all 62 phar­ma­cies in the Town­ships are online, you will be able to trans­fer your pre­scrip­tions to any of them, re­new them at any of them or get them in an emer­gency if you are trav­el­ling. This as­pect of the new Dossier de Santé du Québec, the Que­bec Elec­tronic Health File, will surely be the most vis­i­ble for all those who will ac­cept to be part of it; that will prob­a­bly be most of us even though it is an opt­ing out scheme.

But for your doc­tor, the hos­pi­tal that you visit and your phar­ma­cist, it will be

a new era. Let’s get back to your pre­scrip­tions; from now on, they will be filled elec­tron­i­cally. Phar­ma­cists are a lot more than pill coun­ters. Those years of univer­sity were not in math but in a spe­cial­ized field of medicine. With the new sys­tem they will be able to see all the med­i­ca­tion that you are tak­ing and since their field re­quires them to know not only these pills but also their in­ter­ac­tions, he or she will be able to spot right away the prob­lems that can hap­pen when they mix to­gether.

Your doc­tor will also have a bet­ter view of what ails you; all of the re­cent tests that you took at the hos­pi­tal will be there on his com­puter screen. Fur­ther­more, he will have been able to give you an ap­point­ment much faster be­cause the new sys­tem will han­dle a lot of the mun­dane ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks that he and his staff han­dles now. Be­fore meet­ing you, he will have all that he needs to con­duct a much bet­ter con­sul­ta­tion.

So the Health Min­is­ter, Doc­tor Yves Bolduc, had ev­ery rea­son to be smil­ing Mon­day when he an­nounced the start­ing date for the DSQ in the Town­ships: late Oc­to­ber. He couldn’t help men­tion the pi­o­neer­ing work of the Univer­sité de Sher­brooke and the CHUS with Ari­anne, the com­put­er­ized sys­tem in place for a cou­ple of years.

Ques­tions from the press abounded on the pri­vacy of the DSQ. For this news­pa­per, more aware of the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of hav­ing elec­tronic data stored in the United States, our ques­tions to Richard Audet of the RAMQ, Que­bec’s Health In­sur­ance Board, were an­swered even be­fore they were asked in full: “No data will re­side out­side of Que­bec, phys­i­cally or elec­tron­i­cally. And my or­gan­i­sa­tion is proud of its se­cu­rity that is sec­ond to none.”

The pro­gram’s to­tal cost is in the half a bil­lion dol­lar range and it should be oper­a­tional prov­ince wide in 2014. While no es­ti­mate of the true sav­ings are avail­able yet, the pro­grams are too young to re­ally gauge them, they should re­pay any cost as­so­ci­ated within a cou­ple of years.

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

Or­ford MNA Pierre Reid, who when he was Rec­tor of Univer­sité de Sher­brooke was in­volved in the Ari­anne sys­tem, looks on at min­is­ters Monique Gagnon-Trem­blay and Yves Bolduc.

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