Canada is seeing e-health gains in the area of medication, with an estimated $436 million in cost savings and efficiencies this year, a report released Wednesday says. Drug information systems, which are hooked up now mainly in the western provinces and Prince Edward Island and to a lesser extent elsewhere, allow pharmacists and health-care providers to electronically access records of a patient's prescription medications. And they provide a full and accurate medication history so that potential drug interactions or allergies can be caught before they happen. The $436-million tally and report were compiled by Deloitte for Canada Health Infoway, a federally funded organization that was founded in 2001 and charged with helping provinces and territories to adopt electronic health-record projects.
"We expect that number to increase over time as drug information systems are more widely used in the country, and we get more experienced with their use," said Jennifer Zelmer, senior vice-president of clinical adoption and innovation at Infoway.