Nova Scotia Health seeks alternative ways to improve health records processes

Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

Nova Scotia Health is no longer considering a transition of the management of its electronic health records to an external vendor at this time.

This decision is being made after additional business planning, as well as feedback from employees and health care providers.

In late 2020, Nova Scotia Health provided local unions and affected employees with notification of plans to transition the management of its electronic health records (scanning and archiving) to an external vendor.

Input from the unions and employees was an important step in order to move forward with continued business planning to implement this change, which was intended to commence in spring 2021. During the notification in late 2020, Nova Scotia Health advised its union partners and affected employees that strategies were underway to provide affected employees with a comparable position, so job losses would not be anticipated.

The rationale at the time for transitioning to a vendor that already stores and manages more than eight million Nova Scotia Health paper-based health records was, in part, to address quality and backlog issues. The vendor will continue to store Nova Scotia Health paper records at its local site in Bedford. At no time will these patient records be hosted outside of Canada.

In keeping with collective agreement requirements, all of the detailed business planning for this potential transition was not complete when the unions and employees were notified of the change.

Over the coming weeks and months, Nova Scotia Health is considering internal alternatives to address the quality and backlog issues to continue to provide timely access to accurate patient information for health care providers to support them in providing the best care to patients.