In December 2003, I was reading a PC magazine article about a new communication tool called a Weblog (Blog). At that time Web 2.0 was still very much in its infancy, however I found the concept of a Blog to be quite fascinating. Not only did it allow for interaction with peers, it allowed editorial control and immediacy that was previously unavailable without a significant investment in content management systems. The first posting (on December 31, 2003) was titled The Status of Physician Computing. What made the blog work (where many bulletin boards had failed) was the narrative format, the ability to post a comment no matter how old the initial posting and the concept of the permalink. Once posted, any item or comment was given a permanent link that never changed. It would always be searchable (no page not found) and could be linked confidently through articles or web sites elsewhere.
Over the years, I have spent countless evenings writing for the blog and moderating the comments to ensure that the content presented was generated by physicians or users of EMR systems. As a database of physician and user generated information, I do not believe there is anything comparable in Canada or internationally. My reward has been the interaction with peers who have contributed their own time to create valuable discussions that are useful to physicians, professional organizations, vendors and government policy makers as a trusted resource.
Since launch in 2003, the site has undergone a significant expansion and added EMR comparisons, EMR vendor profiles and ratings, a resource directory of products to support the EMR practice, an eNewsletter, audio podcasts and survey data on key needs for physicians and their practice teams.
We have much more planned for 2009.
In January CanadianEMR will be launching a Job Posting Service with a twist. Not only will physicians and practices be able to post practice opportunities for physicians and staff, public and provincial organizations will be able to post positions for for Chief Medical Information Officers (CMIOs) or physician advisors with expertise in specific areas of clinical practice. Watch for this new service;
In addition to the weekly podcasts series, CanadianEMR will be hosting Quarterly Roundtable Podcasts on topical national issues bringing together experts from government, regional health authorities and physicians to debate this topics in an open forum. Topics for 2009 are: Q1 - Chronic Disease Management; Q2 - Data Stewardship; Q3 - Consumer Health; Q4 – Telehealth;
CanadianEMR will be working much more closely with our communications partner ( Canadian Healthcare Technology and Technology for Doctors ) to bring you survey results and feedback and additional printed content that will only be available through these publications;
We will also be working more closely with COACH ( Canada's Health Informatics Association ) to develop complimentary services that bring together the community of physician leaders and users of EMR systems on CanadianEMR with the informatics community;
Finally, CanadianEMR will be launching an EMR Briefing Service in early 2009 that will be targeted towards providing information to the public sector - governments, regional authorities and hospital leaders on the EMR market, chronic disease management and EMR physician engagement strategies for GPs and Specialists. This briefing service is being developed to assist organizations with decision making regarding these critical issues and will be accompanied by a quarterly report on the EMR market that will include a highlighted themed section. For futher information on the EMR briefings, contact Mark Douglas
I like to think of CanadianEMR as 'The Little Blog that Could'. Slow progressive steps that continually add value to our user communities. I look forward to the challenges of 2009 and the new opportunities that will arise. To all of our thousands of users and subscribers, thank you for your continuing support and feedback. Best wishes for the coming year and don't hesitate to contact me or any of our team at CanadianEMR if you have comments, suggestions or criticisms.
Alan Brookstone, MD Founder, CanadianEMR
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