FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing in a renewed partnership with the New Brunswick Medical Society to support and accelerate the adoption of the Provincial Electronic Medical Record system by doctors.

The computerized system enables doctors to store, retrieve and record patient encounters and clinical information electronically at the point of care.

“We recognize that this record system is important for the future of health care in New Brunswick,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque. “It has the potential to improve the quality of care and is an essential part of the many enhancements we are making to primary care.”

As of April 1, eligible new-to-practice doctors will be required to implement the provincial system.

The Provincial Electronic Medical Record system is also a requirement for doctors participating in the Family Medicine New Brunswick initiative. This initiative uses a team approach to improve patient access, use technology to increase collaboration between doctors, and create a better work-life balance for them. Participating doctors work in teams in order to improve service to their patients, including after-hours.

“The Provincial Electronic Medical Record system has already allowed physicians to deliver medicine in ways we could not have before, such as the Family Medicine New Brunswick initiative,” said Dr. Dharm Singh, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “Increasing adoption of this system will help make the health-care system more efficient, enhancing care and improving patient access.”

Doctors who implement the Provincial Electronic Medical Record system before the end of the year will receive $2,500 in incentives, while those who sign on in the first quarter of 2019 will receive $2,000.

Beginning April 1, fee-for-service physicians who use the system will receive additional incentives based upon office visits.

“We know that new physicians want access to the Provincial Electronic Medical Record system and this initiative supports that desire while providing financial support for those who adopt it,” said Singh.

Under the renewed partnership, the Department of Health and the New Brunswick Medical Society will manage the system, including the establishment of an oversight committee. The Department of Health will invest $2.8 million over a two-year period.

Over 300 doctors have implemented the Provincial Electronic Medical Record system.