Data Sharing Agreements 101…


It’s a bit dry but, nonetheless, it is important to understand how the Canadian Medical Association regards data sharing agreements and how they suggest they should be structured.

CMA Policy on Data Sharing Agreements


In case you missed it…


CBC Fredericton’s Information Morning Host Terry Seguin speaks with Dr. Doug Varty about doctors’ frustrations with the provincial EMR program.

Tristan Rutter, CEO of Populus Global Solutions weighs in of the EMR debate and offers his expert opinion on what ails the provincial program.   Following that, Information Morning Host Terry Seguin switches pace and quizzes NBMS/Velante CEO Anthony Knight about why his business plan has fallen so far short of expectations. 

CBC TV’s Harry Forestell speaks with NBMS/Velante CEO Anthony Knight about the status of the New Brunswick Medical Society’s foray into the I.T. business.

CBC Fredericton’s Information Morning Host Terry Seguin speaks with New Brunswick Minister of Health Ted Flemming for his take on how the provincial program has unfolded, and what the future may have in store for the troubled venture.

What if…



I have an idea which will rescue the failing provincial EMR system, drive up EMR adoption rates, cut health care costs, and provide the department of health with all the data they need to monitor the efficacy of our health care system.

And it will cost a fraction of the Velante venture.

Details will be published to this blog on Sunday evening.

The answer was there all along!

The price of a cup of coffee…


Last night I stumbled up an interesting item from our neighbours to the south, posted on the website.   The main point is that health care providers need to be cautious when selecting an EMR software package.   There is no single EMR that fits all users, and rushing to subscribe to a service that turns out to be a poor fit for your practice style can quickly turn into an unending nightmare.

I was one of the lucky ones.   I had a particular EMR in mind, checked with some colleagues who were already using the software, then made the plunge.   Now, three and a half years later, I can honestly say I do not regret a single penny spent on my Practice Solutions system.

Others have not been so fortunate.   Given the current expense of migrating data from one system to another, it is prudent to think long and hard about which product to choose.   Make sure you choose one which fits your needs.

Most importantly, do not fall prey to high pressure sales pitches or limited-time offers.

While it is true that if you sign on with Velante over the next five weeks you may be eligible for as much as $16,000 in government handouts, you need to view that in perspective.  Over the course of ten years that amounts to $4.38 per day.   That’s what some people pay for a coffee at Starbucks!

Are you willing to mortgage your future for a cup of skinny cinnamon dolce latte?

You can read the full article here:   Rip and Replace

A bright sunshiny day…


Great news!  Way better than sliced bread.

The Minister of Health is willing to renegotiate the exclusive Data Sharing Agreement which was secretly drawn up and signed last summer.

This paves the way for wonderful EMR choices like Practice Solutions to fully integrate with the Provincial program, and signals the beginning of the end for the ill-considered and unpopular monopoly which had been the lone entrée at New Brunswick’s single-item EMR buffet.

You can read about it here:  Time For a Better Deal

Can you hear me now?


I sent the following letter to the President of the New Brunswick Medical Society, Dr. Lynn Hansen, in mid-December.

I am still waiting for a response.

Dear Lynn,

 We seem to have reached an impasse regarding my request that non-Velante EMR users in this province be supported in their efforts to have the same access to Department of Health clinical databases as is offered to Velante clients.   As you know, at this fall’s annual general meeting the membership of the NBMS voted strongly in favour of my motion that the NBMS not impede this process.   

 In an earlier message from Mr. Knight I was given to understand that the Board of Directors would be proceeding with the implementation of this resolution by a well established protocol.

 Since that time I have been advised that the NBMS will not proceed with a request to renegotiate the exclusive deal struck between Velante and the Department of Health because is presumed that the Department of Health is not willing to discuss the issue.

 Because this is so very important to those of us who have invested heavily in electronic medical records prior to the recent “one vendor” plan implemented by the NBMS and others, I need to be very certain that this is the dead end that it appears to be, and that the NBMS has taken all appropriate steps to move this forward.   

 I am therefore respectfully requesting that you write to the Minister of Health, in your role as the President of my professional organization, and ask that he consider renegotiating the contract to permit more than one EMR vendor.

If  Mr. Flemming’s written response is an unequivocal “no,” I will immediately cease all efforts to lobby the NBMS on behalf of the EMR early adopters who have heretofore been shut out.

Should you decide that you would be willing to advocate for the dozens of doctors who are anxiously waiting to find out if they can be included in moving the EMR program forward, I would appreciate receiving a copy of the response you receive from the Minister.

Thank you for your attention and all the best for the holiday season.


One EMR to Rule Them All…


Apparently, the leadership of the New Brunswick Medical Society are huge fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.   I say this because they appear to be hoping that the unpopular and pricy Velante EMR software, like Aragorn pictured above,  will be rescued  by an army of ghosts.

Ghost doctors.  Good Lord!  Is that what the desperate P.R. flacks have come to?

The numbers they claim are “enrolled” in the program – if we can believe the numbers at all – include anyone who at any time showed any interest in anything Velante was selling.

I would be on that list, for crying out loud!

Yes, it is true.   Before the “One EMR to Rule Them All” plan was fully developed, I sent a form in saying I would be interested in hearing what Velante has to say.   We were told at the time that if we didn’t sign up, we would be shut out later.  Better hedge my bets, I thought.

Classic pressure sell.

“Get your Ginsu knife now!   Limited time offer!   You may never see another deal like this!   Don’t delay!   Buy today!”

And, like a sucker, I went for it.

One EMR to rule them all, one EMR to find them, one EMR to bring them all, and in the darkness, bind them!

So my boastful friends, if you really have as many doctors committed to your product as you claim, publish a list.   Show yourselves!

Until such a list is made public, your enrollment claims have all the validity of a puff of swamp gas.

Buyer beware!