What you told us about Electronic Medical Records

September 20, 2023

Doctors of BC is committed to ensuring that the physician voice is reflected in the Ministry of Health’s development and implementation of its provincial Electronic Medical Record (EMR) strategy – and its overall digital health strategy. We want 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.

Over the past two years, we have sought your input on EMR interoperability, consolidation, and governance to help inform our advocacy in this integral area of digital health planning. You told us in multiple large-scale member surveys that you want simple, fulsome sharing of patient information across the province, and that you are in strong support of moving to fewer EMRs to enable interoperability across systems.

In our most recent EMR survey, we sought your input on two key areas:

  • Proposed options for shifting to fewer EMRs in BC

  • What a collaborative Doctors of BC/Ministry of Health EMR governance structure could look like

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 opportunities with having fewer EMRs such as improved interoperability, as well as challenges such as change management and limited choices.

Confirming and enhancing our understanding

Nearly 1,900 family and specialist physicians from across BC shared their feedback in our EMR Governance Survey and confirmed:

  • There is strong physician support for EMR consolidation to support interoperability, improve patient care, and reduce administrative burdens.

  • Quality data and standards are of high importance.

  • There is a need for an EMR governance structure that is responsive and provides full access to records with quality data.

  • A 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.

Further details can be found in our What We Heard report, and our Summary of Results.

Developing solutions that meet your needs

We are in the early stages of our work with government in the areas of EMR consolidation and governance. Your input is helping to inform our strategic approach and advocacy with government on these important issues and in overall digital health planning. We will continue to ensure that your voice is reflected throughout the process, and that any steps taken align with your needs and perspectives without creating additional burdens. We will also continue to keep you informed and engage with you as work in this very important area progresses.

For more information, visit our Engaging with you on Digital Health webpage or contact