Impact on policy
The Institute has shaped Alberta’s e-health landscape through the development of a policy white paper, endorsed by Alberta Health, which lays out the necessary considerations for a successful transition to an e-health system, highlighting the importance of high-quality health information for quality health care, and that patients and their care teams should have access to the best information whenever and wherever it is needed. Although led by the O’Brien Institute, doing this type of work well required partnerships with different ministries in the provincial government, Alberta Health Services (AHS), the Alberta Medical Association, and other associated bodies.
In recent years, a number of key partnerships and collaborations have formed between the Institute, Alberta Health, and other external partners, that have helped shape Alberta’s e-health landscape. Working with Alberta Health and AHS, the Institute worked to convene strategic discussions between civil society groups, service providers and policy institutions, to create a common vision of e-health services for Alberta. The Institute also advised the Alberta government following a national and international scan to inform the provincial system, which is moving toward a digital integration that promises to put patients at the centre of their care.
Impact on patients
Work done by Institute members in the digital health landscape has shaped the way patients and providers interact with information and with one another, but it has also impacted the way care is delivered. Working directly with AHS, the Institute informed the development and implementation of the Connect Care program. Allowing for the sharing of high-quality clinical information between all AHS care sites, Connect Care positioned Alberta to eventually become the largest, most powerful digitally-integrated health system in Canada. The Connect Care promise is to allow patients access to their complete AHS health record, allowing them to be better informed and engaged in all health care decisions.