Digital health plays a vital role in how doctors deliver health care today and into the future. As the Ministry of Health moves forward on its provincial Digital Health Strategy, advocating for physician influence in shaping digital health planning is a priority for Doctors of BC. We are committed to engaging with you to ensure the physician voice is reflected throughout the process, and to ensure that any proposed digital health solutions align with your needs in a way that doesn’t create more work for you or add to already existing burdens.

Priority topic areas

Hearing from a broad range of physician voices—from all practice types, geographic locations, and specialties—is crucial to steering these efforts, as it will help deepen our understanding of perspectives across the profession and further guide how we advocate for you as work in this area progresses. We will regularly be engaging with members both online and in-person to seek your clinical perspectives in areas such as:

  1. Digital referrals, consults, and orders
  2. EMR Governance
  3. Virtual visits
  4. Remote patient monitoring
  5. Secure messaging
  6. Patient access to clinical records (Health Gateway)
  7. Reports distribution
  8. Provider Experience, including provider location registry (how providers will connect into the system)
  9. Provincial Attachment System (currently under the Longitudinal Family Physician Payment Model)
  10. Longitudinal Records Access
  11. Health toolkit
  12. Patient Summaries

Current and upcoming engagement opportunities

Doctors of BC is planning a number of ongoing member engagement opportunities over the coming months. Check here often for the full list of current and upcoming opportunities.

Informational webinar: Digital Referrals & Orders Program (DRO)

Members are invited to participate in an informational webinar on March 14, 2024, from 7:00am-8:00am detailing the Provincial Digital Health and Information Services (PDHIS) plans to enable province-wide digital referrals and orders. This provincial initiative aims to better coordinate referrals, consultations, and diagnostic services, and enhance communication among health care providers and patients while minimizing administrative burdens. In this physician-facilitated webinar, hosted by Doctors of BC, participants will:

  • Gain insight into the provincial Digital Referrals & Order Program (DRO) and the PDHIS's broader work to build a “connected health system” 

  • Learn about OceanMD and how the PDHIS will implement it to enable digital referrals and orders

  • Learn about Doctors of BC’s advocacy work in the area of digital health, including future engagement opportunities and how this work may impact you

Click here to register. Participants will be compensated via sessional payments through Doctors of BC’s Digital Health & Privacy team. 
 
More information about the Digital Referrals & Orders Program is available in these resources:

Past engagements: What you told us

Informing Digital Health Strategy in BC – Phase 3 

In April 2023, we conducted a survey seeking members’ input on potential approaches to shifting to fewer EMRs in BC and ways to ensure steps towards EMR consolidation align with your needs and perspectives. You told us that as the Ministry focuses on how to move toward consolidation, as well as advances its work on collaborative governance of EMRs (as agreed upon in the 2022 Physician Master Agreement), you support using a collaborative structure to procure and manage EMR contracts. You identified the need for an EMR governance structure that is responsive and provides full access to records with quality data, and shared your preference for exploring the use of a collaborative structure for EMR contract procurement and management, with the aim to support rising EMR costs and capping fees related to changing EMRs.

System Interoperability – Supporting a “connected health system”

Between Aug – Sept 2022, we sought members’ input on your clinical needs related to interoperability, including validating a list of clinical requirements that were to be included in a joint Ministry and Provincial Health Services Authority Request for Proposal for a digital solution(s) to support a “connected health system” in BC. Respondents told us they want a user-friendly connected health system, and their feedback centered around four main themes: patient experience, provider experience, administrative burden, and features and functionalities.

Informing Digital Health Strategy in BC – Phase 2

During April 2022, we conducted a survey seeking members’ input on EMRs and EMR vendors, as well as EMR functionality and information-sharing. The survey built upon past member engagement where EMR management, poor functionality, and lack of system interoperability were identified as significant burdens and primary concerns. Respondents confirmed they want simple, fulsome sharing of patient information across the province. Interoperability – and the consolidation of EMRs to aid in interoperability – was strongly supported; however, costs of EMRs, administrative burdens, and challenges associated with data portability continued to be significant concerns.

Informing Digital Health Strategy in BC – Phase 1

In June 2021, we gathered member feedback on optimizing the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), electronic health records, (EHRs), and other digital health technologies to understand doctors’ priorities when it comes to enhancing how these systems work, and how to use them effectively in a post-pandemic environment. We also sought input on the Ministry of Health’s priorities related to enhancing functionality, information-sharing, and effective use of digital health technologies. Respondents told us that administrative burdens, poor functionality, and lack of system interoperability with EMRs and EHRs increases inefficiencies for doctors, leading to a decrease in quality of and access to care and an increase in physician burnout. Respondents also showed a strong desire to simplify and streamline EMR use and management to improve patient care and align with clinical workflows.


Hearing from a broad range of physician voices – from all practice types, geographic locations, and specialties – is crucial to steering these efforts, as it will help deepen our understanding of perspectives across the profession and further guide how we advocate for you as work in this area progresses.

If you are interested in getting involved or have any questions about digital health engagement opportunities or digital health, please email .

You can also learn more about our advocacy work in this area by visiting the Digital Health Strategy section of our website.