The doctor is in and online

An Ottawa-based technology association recently recognized a project that saw a Web-enabled application rolled out at 12 eastern Ontario hospitals and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

The award, given by SCOAP, an affiliate member of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), recognizes the practical community benefits of the deployment of the new Regionally Accessible Secure Cardiac Health Records (RASCHR) system. It was awarded to systems integrator xwave, and project partners Bell Canada and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

RASCHR is designed to make secure patient information accessible via the Internet over a secure virtual private network, and will streamline communications among referring and assessing physicians, patients and their families, say the project’s sponsors. Patient data is encrypted using public key infrastructure technology to ensure confidentiality and authorized health care professionals are identified using digital certificates.

The system is expected to be fully operational within the next few months, and the projects’ partners say health care workers are keen to retrieve information electronically in lieu of exchanging myriad faxes, leaving phone messages and running between hospital departments.

“Once completed on a regional basis, we hope to examine the interest in a national network,” says Ranald McGillis, vice-president of central region for xwave.