Tuesday, 20 October 2015

eHealth Pilotitis

"We cannot afford to remain a country of perpetual pilot projects, wasting the learning we need."
- Monique Bégin, Federal Minister of Health when the Canada Health Act was enacted

I once asked Greg Reed, former CEO of eHealth Ontario, why none of the most successful pilots in Ontario were ever rolled out across the province.  He explained to me that most pilots are tightly bound to the system they were built on because they were implemented as a simple customization of an existing system.  For example the much vaunted Sault Ste. Marie ePrescribing pilot consisted of handing out EMR access to local pharmacists, so the pharmacists were literally logged onto the same EMR as the physicians were.  It was a quick way to get scripts from doctors to pharmacists, but a far cry from a solution that could be rolled out across the province.

The Naylor Report goes into considerable detail on Canada's abusive serial relationships with pilots. We love them; but in the end we feel abandoned, frustrated and wanting.

Here's an idea: How about we institute an annual contest for the Best Pilot?  The prize would be roll-out of their solution across the entire province.  Selection criteria could include scalability to mitigate Mr. Reed's observation.  Nothing would make a pilot team more proud than to see their innovative solution rolled out across the entire province!

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