As more First Nations across the province are connected to high-speed Internet, the Pathways to Technology team is working closely with the First Nations Health Authority to support cutting-edge eHealth technologies for First Nations communities.
The FNHA is working to create an integrated clinical First Nations telehealth network across BC that will link community health centres to services from the regional health authorities and other care providers.
"Implementing an eHealth system across British Columbia is essential for us to meet the objectives set out in the Transformative Change Accord: First Nations Health Plan and the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan,” says FNHA Chief Information Officer Joseph Mendez. "Our goal is to eliminate some of the geographical obstacles that hinder health service delivery to First Nations through strategic investments in information technology.”
Through the coordinated support of the Pathways project, community health centres will receive a secure and reliable broadband connection with the bandwidth necessary to support telehealth services and other complex eHealth applications that require sensitive health information to be transmitted securely without interruption. This will bring First Nations people in rural communities significantly closer to the standard currently enjoyed by people living in larger urban areas.
"Implementing eHealth in our First Nations communities will support improved working relationships between First Nations Health Centres and the regional health authorities,” says eHealth Development Coordinator Steven Raphael. "Health Centre staff members are eager to leverage telehealth and take advantage of such things as the UBC Learning Circle video conferencing educational sessions. Having information management tools on a secure health network will be a welcome development.”
"By working together and coordinating our planning, we can get the right Internet infrastructure in place to empower the vision FNHA has for advancing First Nations health care across the province,” says Ruth Williams, Chief Executive Officer of All Nations Trust Company which is managing the Pathways to Technology project.
One eHealth application that will be accessed through the First Nations Health Network is the Panorama public health information system.
"We’re currently working with health centre nurses providing public health services to 72 First Nations groups in BC who see access to Panorama as a means to support client care, facilitate immunization reporting and surveillance, and further integrate clinical public health work with the regional health authorities,” says Panorama project manager Karl Mallory.
"The nurses we’re working with consistently tell us Panorama will save them time tracking down accurate, up-to-date client information that will improve the care provided to their clients.”
With each step forward in the Pathways to Technology project, the FNHA also moves closer to their goal of supporting First Nations take a leadership role in improving the health of their communities.
Posted: September 24, 2012