At the end of August I published a blog post entitled “Meaningful Engagement” in which I explored lessons that might be learned from the US process for defining “meaningful use”. In that blog post I reference an article entitled “Certification of Primary Care Electronic Health Records: Lessons Learned from Canada” written by Dr. Mark Dermer and Dr. Matthew Morgan. Although the article offers insights on the engagement process that led to the definition of meaningful use, its primary purpose is to explore the Canadian EMR certification process. In their assessment of Canadian EMR programs, Drs. Dermer and Morgan assert that “the significant variation in which products are chosen in competitions that use very similar specifications (derived from Infoway's POSR) calls into question the process by which products are evaluated“. To further illustrate the points made in the article, I analyzed data that I have collected on the Canadian EMR market and offer the following observations for consideration:
- According to Dr. Alan Brookstone from CanadianEMR, there are approximately 35 vendors offering some form of EMR solution to Canadian physicians.
- Nearly all of the 35 EMR vendors are Canadian companies.
- Sixteen or slightly less than half of these vendors have products that have been certified by one or more of the six provincial EMR programs (BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, and NS).
- None of the sixteen certified vendors has products which are certified by all six provincial EMR programs.
- Only one vendor has product which has been certified by four of the six provincial programs.
- The majority (62%) of the 16 vendors whose products have been certified by a provincial program have only been certified by a single program.