The BC government is subsidizing physicians’ costs to change from using paper medical records to electronic medical records (EMR) systems on the condition that portions of their EMRs will be made available to a centrally-managed Electronic Health Record (the IEHR) that will be interoperable with other systems across Canada. 

The BC government has entered into an agreement with the BC Medical Association to fund the Physician Information Technology Office, (PITO), which provides financial and technical assistance to doctors who agree to use specified software companies and off-site storage systems linked to the province’s EHR system, and who agree to have their patients’ information automatically uploaded to the EHR system. 

The information to be uploaded by the BC government from the doctor’s electronic medical record to the province-wide EHR is referred to as the Core Data Set. Each identified individual patient’s Core Data Set includes: 

  1. demographic information; 
  2. current conditions;
  3. past medical and surgical history;
  4. allergies/alerts; current medications; 
  5. immunizations;
  6. advance directives; and
  7. most recent and critical diagnostic data.  

The Core Data Set may include the patient’s most sensitive and revealing personal health information. And once the systems are built, extraction of the patient’s personal health information from the physician’s EMR to the province-wide EHR will be automatic, and done on a routine basis.