Health care, blockchain, electronic health records
Over the past decade, the Government of Ontario has devoted significant resources to the digitization of patient health records with the goal of improving data storage, management, transfers and, ultimately, patient care. Adoption rates for digitized records, known as electronic health records (EHR), and accompanying systems, has been high among health care providers in Ontario. Yet, research has demonstrated that a number of barriers appear to inhibit the effective use of EHRs among clinicians. These barriers can impede or delay meaningful use of EHRs and accordingly, limit their ability improve information exchanges, service delivery and patient care.
This paper reviews the challenges of achieving meaningful use of EHRs in health care service delivery. It also examines whether an emerging technology for data management, blockchain, may overcome the most prominent barriers to meaningful use of EHRs. A strong focus of this research concerns the legal aspects of EHRs and the legal issues surrounding their use.
The difficulties in achieving meaningful use of EHRs can stem from the time and resources required for training and change management activities, the skill-level of users and the usability of the systems adopted.
This paper proposes recommendations including a greater emphasis by the government and industry groups on designated initiatives to support meaningful use, stronger compliance measures and incentives for health care providers, and investments in new and emerging health care positions. The legal community can assist by engaging in collaborative efforts that aid in increasing certainty about the laws concerning EHRs.
These findings may provide guidance to health care industry professionals and legal practitioners, to enhance preparation for technology changes in the area of information management, and encourage activities which support meaningful use.
Master of Business Administration
Major Research Paper