eHealth Observatory

eHealth Observatory

A stethascope on a computer keyboard

Monitoring the effects of Health Information System Deployment in Canada

eHealth Observatory to Monitor the Effects of Health Information System Deployment in Canada

The overall aim of the eHealth Observatory is to monitor the effects of health information systems (HIS) deployment in Canada. It is to serve as a laboratory where researchers employing innovative HIS methodologies can evaluate the effects of HIS through the entire system lifecycle from requirements, deployment, use to adaptation, then share this new knowledge to advance the field.


  • apply rigorous models, methods and metrics to evaluate HIS adoption/use and impact
  • engage the eHealth community in knowledge translation (KT) to synthesize, share and use the knowledge gained; and
  • build research capacity in HIS implementation and evaluation with education and training


  • HIS for medication management
  • HIS integration with electronic records in physician offices and healthcare organizations
  • Secondary use of HIS data in performance management


  • System-related – Electronic medication management, or eDrug, is a province wide initiative underway in BC to deploy a set of enhanced PharmaNet2 system and tools for physicians, pharmacists, other authorized health professionals and Ministry of Health with ePrescribing, eSpecial Authority, medication profile and point-of-care clinical/financial decision support features. Electronic records for physician offices is the new Physician Information Technology Office initiative from BC Medical Association in collaboration with Ministry of Health to equip BC physicians with electronic medical records (EMR). Electronic records for healthcare organizations cover electronic health records (EHR) with data from multiple sources including admission/discharge, medication, laboratory, service and health assessment. Given these HIS are in different stages of the system lifecycle, multiple research methodologies are needed to evaluate their effects from initial requirements to deployment/use process to overall impact on patient care/outcome. The eHealth Observatory will draw on these new initiatives planned/underway in BC as the means whereby innovative HIS methodologies can be refined/adapted and applied, then generalized as best practice benchmarks for the broader eHealth community.
  • Social/healthcare-related – The eHealth community includes decision makers, IT professionals and researchers involved with the deployment, use, evaluation and support of HIS in different care settings, such as hospitals, health authorities and the jurisdictions, and in private practice, such as community pharmacies, physician offices and primary care clinics. Decision makers are clinicians and managers responsible for care/service delivery, and administrators for policy development and implementation in the broader health system.


Research Innovation –Research activities will focus on three primary areas:

a) Consolidate existing evidence base of HIS models, methods and metrics;
b) Apply rapid methods to evaluate HIS adoption/use and impact; and
c) Apply rapid methods to evaluate secondary use of HIS data in performance management.

Mentoring/Education – The overall approach is to create a nurturing HIS research and training environment using an experiential, collaborative, lifelong learning mindset. Projects are planned as follows:

a) Create eight learning modules with the new HIS knowledge;
b) Create on-line HIS implementation and evaluation learning modules; and
c) Formalize the modules as part of health informatics education/training programs.

Linkage/Exchange – The eHealth Observatory will engage Infoway and jurisdictional partners in two integrated KT projects to create a pan-Canadian benefits evaluation (BE) community KT forum, and to conduct KT workshops as part of this forum to co-produce and share ideas/knowledge.

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research logo
  • Canada Health Infoway logo
  • College of Pharmacists of BC logo