Change is in the wind…


Telus Health/PS Suite EMR users will be pleased to know that the New Brunswick Medical Society Board of Directors meets next weekend and should be poised to act on the resolution passed by the membership at this fall’s Annual General Meeting regarding EMRs.  This resolution, put forward in support of non-Velante EMR early adopters, specifies that the NBMS will not interfere in the negotiations between the Department of Health and Telus Health (and possibly other vendors) as they attempt to seek equal treatment to that afforded to Velante.    Telus is seeking to interconnect its users with provincial laboratory and diagnostic imaging databases.   Like all doctors in New Brunswick, Telus EMR users already get the same information in paper form… usually a few days after it is ready for distribution.   Tying in electronically will give doctors quicker results, with fewer transcription errors.   This is good for doctors, and even better news for patients.   It’s the next logical step in improving the utilization of EMRs in this province.

Now, I have implied that Telus and other EMR users just want to be treated as equal.   That’s not quite right.   The truth is that Telus, unlike Velante, has offered to pay all the costs of interconnection.  The cost to the Province would be zero!

Talk about a gift horse!

There is, however, a fly in the ointment.    I’ve been told by someone who should know that there is wording in the agreement between Velante and the Department of Health, that states that “the Province will only offer connectivity associated with the EMR program to users who subscribe to the official provincial Program.”   The monopoly on “official” status was handed to Velante about a year ago.

So, how do you follow the wishes of the membership when you have signed an agreement which prevents you from doing what they have directed?

Seems to me you have two choices:  1) Defy the membership and ignore the resolution, or 2) Amend the agreement.

When it comes right down to it, there really isn’t much choice at all…


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