E-patient record system makes uneven playing field, says MD
Dr. Doug Varty, of Fredericton, says he spent thousands on system that can't connect to new N.B. one
A Fredericton doctor says the province's new electronic medical records system has created an uneven playing field.
Dr. Doug Varty was one of about 60 doctors who adopted electronic records before the new system was introduced.
He says he is out tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of work because the Department of Health and the New Brunswick Medical Society went with a program that no one was using.
In addition, Varty won't be able to link to the provincial system, he said.
"That's a very important part of any EMR is being able to download your data — you know, your lab reports, your X-ray reports, consultant reports and all those sorts of things, automatically, and in a timely fashion. And we're being denied that," Varty said.
The New Brunswick Medical Society plans to update the public on Tuesday about how many doctors have signed up for the new electronic system, called Velante.
Last week, Health Minister Ted Flemming said the medical society had missed its original target of signing up 500 of the province's 1,600 doctors by the end of 2013.
The new target date is March 31.
Doctors have to pay $8,000 to install the Velante system in their offices.
Flemming has stressed his department has had no role in this new phase for doctors' offices.
The society and a private information technology company set up a company called Velante to run the new system.
Two reviews of an earlier phase — the component for hospitals and the health department — found unauthorized extra spending and conflicts of interests among consultants working on it.