What is an EHR?

An electronic record of your key health information

Traditionally, health information has been stored on paper files in medical facilities like physicians’ offices, testing facilities, hospitals and pharmacies. Now, health information is typically stored on computers at each of those sites.

A provincewide connection

Each health care location submits key patient health information to Alberta Netcare. This information is then presented as a single integrated patient record. Alberta Netcare can be accessed by authorized health care providers, through a secure internet connection. Alberta Netcare makes it faster and easier for clinicians to access up-to-date information about their patients. This makes them able to provide the very best quality of patient care. Learn more about how your health information is protected.

How Does the EHR Work?

All of the medical facilities in Alberta keep their own records of the services they provide to their patients. A copy of information that is considered “key health information” is sent to Alberta Netcare, our provincial EHR. This allows health care professionals at sites across the province to access that information whenever they need it. Learn about the kinds of information this includes.

Before Alberta Netcare, when you visited a medical facility, the health care professionals at that site would have to get records from other sites that you have visited. For example, if you visited a specialist, they had to contact your family doctor for a copy of their records. This would have been done by phone, fax and mail. Alberta Netcare makes this process more efficient.

Now, instead of contacting each site to obtain a copy of your record, the health professional that is currently treating you can simply log onto Alberta Netcare and view all of the key information. This helps them make faster decisions about tests that they still require, and choose the best treatment for you. Learn about who is allowed to access the EHR.

Further Reading

Knowing is Better Than Not Knowing

Canada Health Infoway has developed a website that explains how EHRs bring key information to clinicians and improve patient care. Visit the Infoway Knowing is better than not knowing website for videos and interactive features that explain what EHRs mean for patients.

Watch Infoway's "What is Worth Knowing" video