The purpose of this chapter is to undertake a critical examination of the emergence of e-health in the Canadian Province of Ontario. More than solely a technological challenge, the emergence and pursuit of e-health denote a complex governance transformation both within the province’s public sector and in terms of public-private partnering. The Ontario challenge here is complicated by the absence of formal regional mechanisms devoted to health care, a deficiency that has precipitated the creation of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to foster e-health strategies on a subprovincial basis, as well as ongoing difficulties in managing public information technologies. With respect to public-private partnering, a greater regionalization of decision-making and spending authorities, within transparent and locally accountable governance forums, could provide incentives for the private sector to work more directly subprovincially, enjoying greater degrees of freedom for collaboration via more manageable contracting arrangements.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Governance: It is the mechanism of coordinating resources, making decisions, and structuring accountability.
Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN): LHINs are flexible bodies created to facilitate interoperability and integrated health care delivery in a collaborative manner without imposing a new layer of centralized, regional authority on the system.
E-Government: E-government is the usage of news policy tools and organizational processes involving digital technologies in order to improve public-sector capacities.
Identity Management: This involves policies and technologies that enable authenticated identities to be verified in order to confirm and enable access or transactions between individuals and organizations.
Interoperability: It is the ability of different information and computer systems to exchange data and enable communication and coordination across different organizations or subsystems within an organization in order to be participative in shared governance systems.
E-Health: E-health is the usage of new technologies to improve health care organization and service delivery.
Electronic Health Record (EHR): EHR provides each individual with a secure and private lifetime record of their key health history and care within the health system.