Telus to Acquire Electronic Medical Records Provider, Bring More Doctors Online

Article excerpt

Telus to buy electronic medical records firm


MONTREAL - A division of telecom giant Telus (TSX:T) is buying Ontario's largest electronic medical record business, increasing the number of paperless files and bringing more than 5,000 more doctors online.

Telus Health says it's acquiring MD Practice Software, part of a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association, for an undisclosed price.

It says the move will bring the total number of doctors who use electronic medical records technology to 9,000 across the country.

Currently, the penetration rate of electronic medical records in Canada sits at roughly 56 per cent, compared with a rate of well over 90 per cent in some European countries, according to Telus Health president Paul Lepage.

He adds that the market potential for electronic records in Canada is at least $150 million to $250 million, plus other services such as wireless.

Lepage says the technology will help doctors see more patients daily and be able to e-prescribe treatment.

"The first thing the doctor is going to be doing is he'll be converting his paper records to electronic records," Lepage said in an interview.

"From a physician perspective, what that means is the ability to see more patients during the day. So they will get a productivity gain out of that."

Over time, doctors will be able to share that information, with consent, with other health-care providers. Patients can give their doctors regular updates through a patient portal on chronic diseases, for example, such as diabetes, Lepage said.

Lepage noted that about 80 per cent of doctors now use a smartphone and more and more interaction with patients will be done on the device, and on tablets. …


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