Manitoba Government Invests in Information Technology to Drive Innovation, Improve Health-care Services for Families

November 20, 2015

The Manitoba government is investing nearly $20 million in several significant information technology projects in 2015 to improve access to digital health-care services for Manitobans, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today during Digital Health Week in the province.

“Digital services are transforming how health care is provided and these innovative solutions are being implemented across Manitoba to improve patient care,” said Minister Blady.  “We are investing strategically in information technology to help patients and providers access the resources and information they need to make the best health decisions possible.”

The minister noted Manitoba’s investments have focused on innovative electronic and digital initiatives to provide event better health care for Manitobans.  To date this year, these investments include:

  • $6 million to upgrade information technology in facilities across the province;
  • $4 million in equipment and technology for digital mammography;
  • $2.4 million to implement a provincial immunization management system;
  • $2.2 million to implement a provincial laboratory information system;
  • $2 million for new admission, discharge and transfer systems in rural facilities; and
  • $1.7 million in upgrade information technology at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg.

These initiatives are in addition to investments in pharmacy upgrades in Prairie Mountain Health and the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, and upgrades to surgical instrument management systems in Winnipeg, the minister noted.

“Our main priority is to enable information systems and technologies that continue to improve Manitoba’s health system in a sustainable way,” said Perry Poulsen, chief information officer, Manitoba eHealth.

Ongoing investments in digital health include:

  • increasing access to electronic medical records for primary care and specialist health-care providers;
  • enhancing access to eChart, which allows health-care providers to access a secure electronic system of key patient health information including filled drug prescriptions, lab results, immunizations and diagnostic imaging reports.
  • adding new MBTelehealth sites, which allow health-care providers to connect with patients through secure video conferencing links between more than 150 sites across Manitoba; and
  • upgrading digital x-ray systems throughout the province to reduce timelines for diagnosis by providing electronic access to images.

The minister noted partnerships among the province and Manitoba eHealth, CancerCare Manitoba, Diagnostic Services Manitoba and all five regional health authorities have led to significant strides in digital health.

“We work with our partners to make investments that improve the health of Manitobans,” said Minister Blady.  “Digital health initiatives in Manitoba help decision-makers, health-care providers and citizens make informed choices about health issues and ultimately the overall health of the province.”

This year, Digital Health Week takes place from Nov. 16 to 22 and recognizes how investments in digital health help improve care across Canada, while also increasing awareness about the value and benefits of digital health for all Canadians.

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