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In 2009 we conducted an audit of select electronic health record processes, which focused on the Department of Health’s and Alberta Health Services’ processes for managing the implementation of electronic health record systems.

Electronic health records are a collection of health data from various sources which is stored in many systems that reside in many locations throughout the province. These systems are under the control and direction of multiple organizations. The scope of our audit was limited to examining whether the department implemented the recommendations we made in 2009, which included elements of governance, project management and IT security. Our audit did not examine the processes at nongovernment entities such as clinics, pharmacies and laboratories. We did not examine the department’s processes for planning and budgeting new initiatives, nor did we evaluate the implementation of the overall electronic health record strategy.

When we refer to electronic health record systems, we refer only to systems within the scope of our original audit.

EHR consists of repositories of information about patients, health care providers and health care facilities. It has data systems including lab test results, diagnostic images and prescription information.

These systems exist in multiple locations under the controls of multiple organizations, including the Department of Health and Alberta Health Services. Data flows between these systems and is presented to the end user through a portal called Netcare.

This section reports on the results of our follow-up of the three recommendations we made during our original audit that the department and AHS have implemented.