Definition

The factor – Harmonized Information and Communication Infrastructure – involves two elements:

  • Clear and effective information and communication infrastructures,
  • Interoperable public health and primary care communication systems and electronic record systems (Electronic Medical Record; Electronic Health Records).

The Advantages
There are distinct advantages of an integrated electronic communication infrastructure between public health and primary care sectors at the systems level. Functionalities include computerized order data entry systems, health information exchange, and clinical decision support systems.

There would be financial gains with reduced cost by eliminating duplication, improved ability to conduct cross-sectoral research, and improved population health outcomes.

The Drawbacks
The drawbacks would include the upfront initial costs, ongoing maintenance, and the disruption of learning a new system of electronic documentation and communication. One of the major concerns is the potential risk to privacy issues. However, once protected, respected, and used on a meaningful way, the benefits can far out weight the drawbacks

Man Speaking“At the systems level, we have various record recording systems that are electronic. At the moment, there isn’t a uniform system throughout. But there are opportunities for more electronic sharing of information. And it’s a long way down the road before we have a common electronic medical record but I think getting the process is underway now.”