Help us shape AMA informatics policy

January 29, 2018

Dr. Neil D.J. Cooper, AMA President

My recent letters have been all about negotiations. While those discussions go on, the AMA continues work to advance system improvements with physician leadership. A good example is all the effort that is going toward development of a cohesive health information system. There are many parties involved in getting to a desired state and lots of agreement on what it should look like. It’s less clear about the ideal route and organizations like the AMA need be deliberate about our own role and approach. Today I need your help to shape an AMA policy in that area.

Information is one of the big themes underlying everything the AMA is trying to accomplish for members, patients and the health care system. Whether for appropriate clinical decision-making, provincial or local administration or engaging patients, data is the lifeblood of an integrated system. Today, though, there are barriers to getting the information we need for care. We lack the data for taking the system where we want to lead. Patients are still waiting for access to their own information.

With so much at stake, the Board wants to define what the AMA’s position should be with the many different elements of informatics in our health care system. For example:

  • The new AHS Clinical Information System initiative (Connect Care).
  • Moving information from the community to provincial systems: what, how, when, for what purposes and who decides?
  • Getting information across the divide between community and acute/secondary care.
  • Giving patients access to their own information as responsible partners in their care.

Working with some physician leaders, we have developed the AMA Draft Policy Statement on Health Informatics. We have shared this with section executives and PCN leads but we also want insight from grassroots members.

The policy statement is only four pages long. Here are ways to learn more:

Then, please let me know what you think. I’m always interested to learn more about you so do let me know where you practice and in what specialty.

Please reach me through the usual channels:

Thank you very much with helping to refine this very important piece of policy. It will determine how the AMA participates in informatics initiatives in this province for the foreseeable future.

At your service,

Neil D.J. Cooper, MD, FRCPC, Dip. Sport Med.

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