Physicians’ principles support advocacy on technology

September 11, 2017

Information Technology has become a central part of our health care system and a major tool that can help physicians provide quality care for patients.IM%2FIT

It is important that in the development of Information Management and Information Technology systems (IM/IT), physician voices are heard and that the clinical experience of front line health providers are considered.  In fact, this is critical to successfully implementing technology whether it is in a hospital, other facility or doctor’s office.  

Doctors of BC has updated a statement of principles that will support physicians to effectively advocate on IM/IT issues and to use in their work with Health Authorities and other organizations. A consistent set of principles is especially important given that our health care system is not supported by a single comprehensive IM/IT approach. In fact, IM/IT systems vary widely around the province. 

The updated principles will help physicians to be clear about our priorities and speak with one voice. The principles are patient and clinically focused, and do not favour a specific technology. 

The five core principles are:

  1. Support quality care and enable clinical excellence. This means supporting the delivery of high quality care, integrated decision support tools-when possible, prioritizing clinical needs and patient privacy ahead of financial/technical considerations, free access to system-wide patient care information, and business continuity plans that ensure continued clinical care during any system disruptions.
  2. Support the one patient, one record principle, which may mean a single system or may be a combined record extracted from multiple systems that are interoperable.
  3. Support and enhance the patient role in health care, which includes meaningful patient participation that is practical and functional, and incorporates safeguards for security and privacy, and availability of records for later use.
  4. Ensure clinical physicians input in Health IM/IT systems’ design, use and governance. We believe that physicians should be informed early about proposed or new IM/IT systems that impact clinical care to ensure that their needs are taken into account at all stages. The project sponsors must be responsible in obtaining significant input and participation from clinical physicians, which includes providing adequate funding for practicing physicians’ participation.
  5. Incorporate continuous improvement and investment. The ongoing evaluation of health IM/IT systems must be a central component of any health IM/IT strategy.

The full statement can be viewed here.  Let us know your thoughts by e-mailing us at communications@doctorsofbc.ca.