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Benefits Evidence – Pan-Canadian Studies

Benefits Evidence

To assess the impact of Canada’s investment in digital health, Infoway undertakes regular monitoring and evaluation of the projects we invest in using our Benefits Evaluation Framework. Infoway commissions benefits evaluation studies to understand and communicate the impacts at the national level. While these national level studies illustrate the current value being delivered by the investments made by Infoway and its jurisdictional partners, they also look at emerging evidence that demonstrates the momentum that is building in these and other areas as clinicians increasingly adopt and use the technologies that have been implemented. These reports also identify critical success factors for achieving the full potential of the digital health technologies being studied.

Infoway estimates that $30 billion in benefits from these solutions have accrued to patients and their families, clinicians and our health system since 2007, including $4.5 billion in the past year. These benefits include avoided expenses for patients and their families, increased productivity for clinicians, and increased value to the health system.

CHI Annual Report Figures

Seven national benefits evaluation studies have been carried out since 2008:

  1. Connected Health Information in Canada: A Benefits Evaluation Study
    Connected health information is contributing significant value at the current adoption levels, with the potential for increased value with greater adoption. The results of this study demonstrate that connected health information provides:
    • Health system savings of $1 billion/year; with a potential of $3.9 billion/year
    • Patient time savings of 18 million hours; with a potential of 76 million hours
    • Provider time savings of 5.9 million hours; with a potential of 15 million hours
    • Economic productivity gains (time not lost from work) of $189 million/year; with a potential of $732 million/year

    Connected health information is demonstrating the greatest benefits in these four areas:

    • Reduced duplication of diagnostic testing
    • More effective use of inpatient settings
    • More effective use of the emergency department
    • More effective ambulatory interactions
    See also:
    Connected Health Information in Canada: A Benefits Evaluation Study – Full Report
    Connected Health Information in Canada: A Benefits Evaluation Study – Technical Appendix
    Connected Health Information in Canada: A Benefits Evaluation Study – Infographic
    Connected Health Information in Canada: A Benefits Evaluation Study – Whiteboard

  2. Ambulatory EMR Evaluation Study
    The Emerging Benefits of EMR Use in Ambulatory Care in Canada key findings:
    • EMR use in this setting is advancing patient safety and continuity of care with demonstrated value to hospitals, the health system, and to patients
    • $200 million in annual value in 2015
      • $13 million from reduced hospitalizations due to adverse drug events
      • $95 million from reduced clinician time spent on chart management processes
      • $46 million and $37 million from avoided duplicate laboratory and diagnostic tests, respectively
    • Approximately 1.2 million additional patient visits in 2015 resulting from enhanced clinic efficiency. A core set of recommendations, priority research areas, and critical success factors for future implementations are also detailed in the Study.
    See also:
    The Emerging Benefits of EMR Use in Ambulatory Care in Canada – Full Report
    The Emerging Benefits of EMR Use in Ambulatory Care in Canada – Summary Deck
    The Emerging Benefits of EMR Use in Ambulatory Care in Canada Infographic
    Ambulatory EMR Landscape Survey
    Infoway’s Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record (AMB EMR) Program Lessons Learned

  3. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Evaluation 2014
    Connecting Patients with Providers: A Pan-Canadian Study on Remote Patient Monitoring
    Key findings:
    • Large-scale programs have demonstrated considerable economic, system-level benefits through decreased use of health system resources
    • RPM has the potential to transform the health system and improve patient outcomes through self-management and home-based care
    Download the Remote Patient Monitoring evaluation study

  4. EMR Evaluation study
    The emerging benefits of electronic medical record use in community-based care
    Key findings:
    • Based on 2012 EMR national adoption rates, community-based practices experienced administrative efficiencies in workflow valued at $800 million
    • EMR use resulted in health care system level benefits, such as a reduced duplicate tests and adverse drug events, valued at $584 million
    • Advanced use of EMRs can improve health outcomes and patient safety through preventive care and chronic disease management
    • EMR use supports improved interactions and communications among care team members and between providers and patients
    Download the EMR Evaluation study

  5. Telehealth Evaluation 2011
    Telehealth Benefits and Adoption: Connecting People and Providers across Canada
    Key findings:
    • Telehealth saved more than 47 million kilometres in travel and $70 million in personal travel costs for patients and their families in 2010 alone
    • Telehealth resulted in health system savings of $55 million in 2010 – roughly $34 million in government-subsidized travel, and another $21 million due to telehomecare, which reduced hospitalizations and other costs for patients with chronic diseases
    • Telehealth saved clinicians nearly 500 days of travel time, which could be reallocated to provide other health care services
    • Telehealth projects in some parts of the country significantly reduced wait times for dermatology and ophthalmology programs and allowed doctors at small hospitals to consult with specialists prior to administering urgently needed treatment to stroke victims
    • There were more than 5,700 telehealth systems in at least 1,175 communities across Canada in 2010. The study also indicated that telehealth use in Canada had grown by more than 35 per cent annually over the previous five years
    Download the Telehealth Evaluation study

  6. Drug Information Systems (DIS) Evaluation 2010
    National Impacts of Generation 2 Drug Information Systems
    Key findings:
    • Drug information systems (DIS) reduce prescription errors and result in fewer adverse drug events with estimated benefits of $436 million in 2010 ($252 from improved safety and quality of care, and $184 million from increased provider productivity)
    • When fully implemented, second generation DIS could result in up to $1 billion a year in benefits
    • Benefits could potentially be as high as $2.3 billion annually once third generation DIS (systems with advanced functionality, such as allowing authorized providers to electronically prescribe to a patient’s pharmacy of choice) are fully implemented and optimized across the country
    Download the National Impact of Generation 2 Drug Information Systems Technical Report (Full)

  7. Diagnostic Imaging Benefits Evaluation Report (Full)
    Diagnostic Imaging Benefits Evaluation
    Key findings:
    • Improved productivity for doctors and technologists; improved remote reporting capabilities; improved access to care; and quicker turnaround time, meaning patients get diagnosed twice as fast and are able to start treatment sooner
    • Estimated benefits of $600 million for the health system in 2008. When fully implemented, estimated benefits could be between $850 million and $1 billion per year
    • DI systems have increased radiologist productivity by more than 25 per cent, enabling as many as 11 million more exams every year when fully deployed
    • Once DI systems are fully deployed, the productivity of the country’s radiologists will increase to a level that could otherwise be achieved only if there were 500 more of these specialists working across Canada
    • DI systems cut turnaround time by 30-40 per cent, meaning patients get their diagnosis faster, and their treatment starts sooner
    Download the Diagnostic Imaging Benefits Evaluation Report (Full)

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