Telus Corp. is determined to be the leading telecom carrier in offering health-related applications and services.
The Buraby, B.C. company showed it again by announcing Monday its Telus Heath division has bought a Kelowna, B.C., electronic medical records system provider for specialty and general practice doctors called Med Access Inc.
Some 2,000 doctors in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario use Med Access’s software in their practices.
Telus Health has spent more than $1 billion on healthcare technology development, including buying independent EMR providers such as Wolf Medical Systems in Western Canada, PS Suite in Ontario and KinLogix in Quebec. It offers a wide range of on-premise and cloud-based software and services for physicians, pharmacists, health care providers, hospitals, insurers, workers compensation boards and consumers.
With its most recent purchase Telus EMR solutions are used by 12,500 physicians across the country.
Although sometimes used interchangeably, EMRs are usually described in the industry as digital medical records kept by physicians in their offices. EHRs (electronic health records) are a broader category of records that can be accessed by a wide range of health professionals in hospitals and laboratories across wide geographical areas. The country is trying to shift to an EHR system so people needing medical care outside their home communities can have the medical records easily accessed by professionals.
Meanwhile Canada Health Infoway is working with provincial health departments to create a national digital health records system that allows data to be accessed across the country.
Telus said in a news release that it addition to supporting Med Access EMR it will integrate the company’s eReferral capability — which allows professionals to electronically forward patient data to a car provider — into its EMR offerings.
“EMRs are the cornerstone of emerging technologies, helping healthcare providers enhance patient care through better collaboration, cost management and workflow benefits,” Telus [TSX: T] president Paul Lepage said in a statement. “These technologies hold significant promise to reduce wait times and ultimately produce better health outcomes for Canadians.
“We believe that connecting healthcare providers and patients is a natural extension of our core business of connecting millions of Canadians with the people and information that matters most to them.”
Med Access EMR is a Windows-based patient records application that does away with paper charts. It shows patient history and results of recent tests in one screen. It includes task management for following up or ordered tests, a scheduler and billing and revenue optimization tools. It also has mobile capabilities.