Increasingly, health care delivery systems are recognizing the potential benefits of information technology to improve quality of care and reduce administrative costs and duplication of services. To date, the use of such technology has been largely confined to health care institutions, with little provision for primary care physicians. This pilot project sought to implement a system of networked electronic health records in primary care physicians’ practices. Originally, it envisaged implementing the model (known as MOXXI-II) in 20 physicians’ offices involving 7,800 patients. However, not only were numerous technological difficulties encountered, but the model was also found to be inappropriate for the real needs of primary care physicians. For example, both hardware and software requirements were significantly greater than anticipated, and data security and patient consent issues proved complex and time-consuming. Consequently, the model never became fully operational and the project evaluation focusses on lessons learned in terms of barriers to the use of electronic health records.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.