Information Highway Advisory Council (IHAC) was formed by the federal government in the month of April in 1994 to outline how the information technologies will improve all Canadians in social, cultural and economic aspects. IHAC issued is final report in 1995 addressing four areas for application of information technologies to improve services, reduce costs and to enhance quality of life, one of the area is healthcare. In October, the prime minister of Canada introduced national forum on health to advice federal government on novel ways to develop the health care system. In 1997 the forum reported that a prime objective is the development of evidence based health system involving stakeholders and all decision makers including policy makers, health care providers and patients, also recommended the formation of nationwide health information system.

 

Advisory Council on Health Infostructure (ACHI), recommended the introduction of nationwide health infoway to improve the accessibility, quality and efficiency of health care services throughout Canada. The ACHI provided four strategic goals for Canada health infoway, one of them is to improve the health care services by providing health care professional with communications and information tools such as the telehealth, EHRand similar technologies.

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As privacy is the fundamental value of Canadians, the ACHI recommended the privacy infrastructure should be developed concurrent with EHR. (Morris) Each province and territory have their own laws and guidelines to protect the privacy of personal health information, EHRs are developed according to their needs. Canada health infoway in accordance with provinces and territories developed a blueprint of electronic health records solution to guide national developments of EHRs. Blueprint released in 2003, is technology for securely and appropriately sharing health information in Canada and revised in 2006, included more details on how standards support the sharing of health information.

Federal government issued $1.6 billionto Canada health infoway for the development of electronic health records and it has spent about $1.2 billion by 31 March 2009.

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