Executive Council
Health and Community Services

May 4, 2018

Supporting Healthcare Innovation to Benefit Residents and Create Economic Opportunities

Enhancing innovation in health information systems benefits residents and offers unique opportunities to use health data for research and to advance the technology industry. Thanks to investments from the Government of Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) will lead three new initiatives to improve clinical care and healthcare outcomes, and help foster growth in the province’s life sciences sector.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), today announced funding totalling more than $9 million from ACOA’s Business Development Program for NLCHI. Carol Anne Haley, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Community Services, and Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, also participated in today’s announcement.

NLCHI develops and implements the province’s confidential and secure electronic health record. The funding will enable the organization to improve technology used in the province’s health information system.The projects include: 1) a secure provincial Health Data Lab to catalogue and store health records; 2) a pilot project to enhance telehealth in rural areas, and 3) an improved system to electronically order medical processes and procedures.

NLCHI, a Crown corporation of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, works to improve the health of residents by providing quality health information to professionals in the sector, the public, researchers and health system decision-makers.

This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents.  The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Quotes
“We made a commitment in The Way Forward to better leverage our partnerships with the Federal Government to deliver stronger programs and services and achieve positive outcomes for the people of our province. By securing this investment, we have advanced innovation in provincial health information systems in ways that will lead to better research and better use of technology to address health needs.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“In regions across our country, researchers and healthcare professionals use technology to make advances, which help improve the health and wellness of Canadians. The Government of Canada values the work of the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, which is using innovation as an important springboard to launch three new initiatives to improve healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in innovative ideas and solutions to enhance the quality of life for residents, while opening the door to more economic opportunities. These initiatives will help improve our province’s health information system by creating efficiencies, introducing new and improved technology, and generating opportunities for researchers and local businesses in the healthcare field.
Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

“Today’s announcement highlights how the Government of Canada’s support for new technology and research will benefit healthcare delivery and grow the life sciences sector right here in our province. Cutting edge digital and data driven health solutions will make Newfoundland and Labrador healthier, and allow us to adopt other innovations more quickly.”
Nick Whalen
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East

“The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information delivers new and innovative ehealth programs that are provincial in scope, strengthen patient safety, increase access to services and inform key health decision and policymakers. These three ACOA funded projects will enhance services provided by NLCHI including health analytics and telehealth and will add new functionality to one of the most comprehensive electronic health records in the country.”
Dr. Kris Aubrey-Bassler
Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information

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Learn more
Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information - www.nlchi.nl.ca/ External Link Icon

The Way Forward - thewayforward.gov.nl.ca 

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL External Link Icon and @HCS_GovNL External Link Icon

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
michellecannizzaro@gov.nl.ca

Paul McGrath
ACOA NL
709-772-2984
paul.mcgrath@canada.ca

Blair Medd
NLCHI
709-752-6111
blair.medd@nlchi.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER
Supporting Healthcare Innovation to Benefit Residents and Create Economic Opportunities

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is providing three non-repayable investments totalling more than $9 million through its Business Development Program to the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI). 

Details of the projects are as follows:

Investment– Project Description

$3,858,541
NLCHI will use the funds to assess, design and implement a Health Data Lab. It will enable multiple, authorized external user groups to securely access one of the most advanced and comprehensive provincial-level health data environments in Canada. The Health Data Lab will use and build upon NLCHI’s existing Enterprise Data Warehouse, a secure repository of data pulled from provincial clinical source systems and various health administrative data sets.

The Health Data Lab will provide an opportunity for authorized researchers to analyze data and apply it to fields such as genetics. Newfoundland and Labrador’s founder population provides a living laboratory for the study of genetic predisposition to many complex diseases.

$3,351,000
These funds will help NLCHI expand telehealth, which enables the delivery of equitable health services to patients regardless of location. This pilot project will use desktop solutions to enable telehealth to move into the patient’s home and private physician clinics. Improvements will include equipment upgrades and expansion to new sites beyond the 104 sites where telehealth services are currently offered. This project will also expand telehealth services to areas such as adult and pediatric emergency services, long-term care and pathology.

Telehealth benefits residents by reducing the need for travel, improving the continuity and capacity of care throughout the health care system and providing rural residents with increased access to specialized and critical healthcare services in their communities.

This project will also provide increased research and development opportunities using the data collected from the pilot initiative.

$1,793,674
In partnership with Eastern Health and Memorial University, NLCHI will acquire and implement new technology from multiple vendors to support more innovation in electronic ordering (e-ordering) of medical processes and procedures. E-ordering will improve efficiency by developing and implementing a system to replace and streamline existing paper-based processes. The project will initially focus on e-ordering for the cardiac catheterization and vascular lab, and certain diagnostic imaging processes such as CT scans.

This new technology will have the ability to apply clinical guidelines to verify the appropriateness of the procedures being ordered. The project includes research to assess and improve the new e-ordering processes, and measure the overall impacts to healthcare delivery. It will also improve healthcare delivery by using machine learning, or artificial intelligence, to help identify healthcare solutions best suited to individual cases.

This initiative creates opportunities for local technology vendors to build on the e-ordering platform.

2018 05 04                                                    12:50 p.m.