The Ontario Liberals have rightly been raked over the coals for the massive waste of taxpayer money spent to get Electronic Health Records implemented in Ontario. The government needs a workable plan to start to get health records on line in a reasonable time frame. They are already talking beyond the 2015 timetable that McGuinty originally established.
But rather than start from scratch why not look to solutions already in the marketplace like Microsoft Healthvault of Google Health? Both support industry standards for exchanging data including Continuity of Care Record and Continuity of Care Document. They also allow for integration of other health data from devices such as heart rate watches and blood pressure monitors. In the United States they have integrated with providers, payers and pharmacies so they have integration experience across the healthcare ecosystem. Hopefully, they'll start adding social media capabilities such as blogs for patient diaries, microblogging for disease management campaigns and wikis to give patients access to research and advice to aid them in managing their conditions.
Best of all patients, not government or individual hospitals or health networks, will own their patient records and be able to manage how it is distributed. Even better Telus licensed the rights to Healthvault in Canada in May of this year, so the opportunity (at least with Microsoft) is there. Google Health and IBM have a partnership but it's not clear to me that it extends to Canada. If the demand was there I'm sure they'd make it happen. Let's hope it does.