Newly appointed eHealth Ontario CEO Greg Reed wants not only to stabilize the organization from within, but also to improve its reputation among the general public, medical community and IT partners.
The former Dundee Bank of Canada chief and long-time McKinsey & Co. consultant was officially appointed as president and CEO at eHealth Ontario on Tuesday. While he is now tasked with the long-term role of creating electronic health records for all Ontario residents by 2015, Reed said a lot of other work has to be done within the next five years to make that possible.
With the organization being run by a series of temporary CEOs since former chief executive Sarah Kramer left embroiled in a spending scandal last summer, Reed said a top goal is to create an ethical and transparent culture at eHealth Ontario. This change, he said, will also extend to the way the organization operates externally.
“We need to start meeting and establishing good links with the various stakeholders outside of this organization,” Reed said. “There are many players in the medical community of Ontario that have made investments in IT infrastructure, in medical records and in interoperability. There’s lots of innovation and good ideas out there.”
“The notion right now is that we need to have comprehensive EHR for all 12 or 13 million people in the province. That’s necessary, but that’s not remotely sufficient,” he added.
For Reed, EHR means nothing without systems and applications designed to ensure the timeliness, security and privacy of the data.
The role of eHealth Ontario, he said, is to take the lead on certain systems and accelerate the development of other systems by outside IT consultants and integrators. “For example, chronic disease management is an example of something that cuts across a whole range of providers, so we built a diabetes registry.”
Ultimately, he said, the ability for eHealth Ontario to look at things from a patient’s perspective and deliver value is crucial. “The sooner we can have a crisper definition of what’s in this for the patient … the sooner the public who’s paying for all of this will see the value of it,” Reed said.