Executive SummaryNova Scotia provides a province-wide system ofdrug information for its population. The drug information systemis expected, in the fullness of time, to contain a one-stop system ofcomprehensive medication profile for each person who is able to obtain aprescription filled in a community pharmacy in the province of Nova Scotia. Themedication profile will capture important information filled by patients andrelated information for example allergies.
A drug information system serves tokeep vital information regarding prescriptions prescribed to the people of NovaScotia and this tends to allow authorized health providers access medicationprofile of the population and in the circumstances contribute add furthermedical information. Efficient and timely access to medication profile as andwhen required at any given place enables healthcare providers to come up withworking solutions about the health of their patients. The Drug InformationSystem is authorized to healthcare providers subject to the provisions of NovaScotia’s Personal Health Information Act. As mentioned above, the scope andjurisdiction of the Drug Information System and in general the personal HealthInformation applies within the Province of Nova Scotia.
It remains to be seenhow effective the Drug Information system is in as far as increasing thequality and safety of patient care is still concerned in the province of NovaScotia. At the same time, a centralized and one-stop system of information isdesirable, its overall efficacy should be measured against real and measuredimpact directly attributed to the information system without isolating theissue of privacy. Until that happens, the information system will have failedto live up to its expectation and will in the circumstances be another scam ofgovernment bureaucracy with no real impact on the populations concerned. ObjectiveThis paper makes attempts to appraise theoverall impact of The Drug Information System implemented in the province ofNova Scotia and how best to maximize system access of such information tohealthcare providers. Essentially, the paper seeks to understand how besthealth care providers can use such information without compromising the privacyof patients as provided under the Personal Health Information Act.
In light ofthe above, the primary objective is to investigate the effectiveness of thedrug information system in improving and increasing safety and care of NovaScotia Population without necessarily compromising the privacy of patients. MethodologiesThe jurisdictional scan employs criticalinterpretive synthesis. This involves a systematic survey of grey and publishedliterature concerning the issue of jurisdictional scans (Department of Healthand Wellness). Literature survey gives a response to purposes and benefits ofprograms designed to detail medical information of populations to health careproviders.
This is in addition to stating the applicable legislation regulatingaccess and use of such information. It goes further to mention the kind ofinformation that is fed to the system and the purposes for which such informationis collected, used and disclosed (Leanne, Yardley, Powell, & Susan, 2012).As far as privacy is concerned, the survey of the literature can show theextent towards which the information is accessible to healthcare providers andwhether individuals can elect to have their personal information collected andif they can block particular uses or disclosures.Data extraction is also employed to analyze thelevel towards which information available in the systems is being used byhealthcare providers. Data extracted is able to show the number of patientswhose medical information is already captured and available in the system. Thisis in addition to sampling data to find out at what intervals do thoseconcerned with the system update new information. This is in recognition of thefact that new information keep popping up and someone somewhere needs to keepthe system up to date with the very latest medical information of patients.
The jurisdictional scan further makes use ofconcept mapping as a method of study. It maps the benefits, limitations, rolesand methodologies of data collection including but not limited to data search,website search, text review and other relevant articles. Prince Edward Islandis selected as jurisdiction to study for the main reason is that it has thesame jurisdictional and administrative comparisons to Nova Scotia. Both NovaScotia and Prince Edward Island are provinces within the Canadianadministrative and governance structure. As such, the two are legally andoperationally recognized as provinces and are, therefore, structurallyadministered and governed in the same manner.Application of the above methods makes itpossible to strategically discern grey literature to review by web sourcingelectronic sources of information from other regions and drawing comparisons tothe policy problem identified at the onset of this paper. There is awealth of literature concerning the issues that this study seeks to address.
However, it is apparent that the existing literature has focused on the subjectof healthcare in general. There is apparent scarcities as one narrows down tospecific issues that need to be addressed and relooked, at the policy level, inorder to ensure that an efficient and cost-effective collection anddissemination of medical information is provided. It is noteworthy to note thata vast number of literature ignore the ensuing consequences of an open free forall date centre for patients. In this case, little attention is paid to theimplications of keeping data and the resulting fears of infringement ofpeople’s privacy.
The jurisdictional scan, therefore, seeks to contribute tothe informational gap that exists with regard to the adequacy and inadequacy ofthe existing legal, policy and institutional framework regulating collection,efficacy and maintenance of The Drug Information system in Nova Scotia.ResultsWhilst it is true that Prince Edward Islandfaces myriad of healthcare challenges; it is not lost to observers that theIsland has in recent past registered remarkable success in the development ofits healthcare system. In this case, the strength of the Island’s healthcaresystem lies in the dozens of its dedicated and committed healthcare providers.This similarity is shared with Nova Scotia. Policy makers in the health sectorof both provinces each make routine daily efforts to ensure that the healthcare provided meets the qualitative test. Secondly, the two provinces have, inthe last few years, implemented drug information system that is primarilyhelpful in providing e-prescription to patients. Recording and keeping ofmedical reports is a mandatory legislative requirement under the PharmaceuticalInformation Act.
There no known legal requirement to electronically keepmedications of patients in Nova Scotia. Its main purpose is to enablehealthcare providers to provide better medical services from an informed pointof view.In both provinces, the drug information systemconnects physicians and pharmacists. That way, a doctor e-prescribes themedical information and feeds in the drug information system (Gillian, Robert,& Steve, 2010). The patient then goes to the pharmacist where themedication is retrieved online. This significantly reduces the chances of thepatient distorting drug information in the event that the same is portable in apiece of paper.
Privacy in the drug information system of bothprovinces is legislatively protected. For the case of Prince Edward Island, thePharmaceutical Information Act isdesigned to allow only authorized healthcare providers to access theinformation. This is in addition to the requirement that they fill and sign aconfidentiality form. The Personal Information Act of 2013 regulates privacyand access to medical information in Nova Scotia.
One point of departurebetween Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island is the latter’s lack of anoperating room information system that can support strategic bookings.From the above, it appears that there are manypoints of convergence than divergence in as far as the utility of druginformation system is concerned in the two provinces. The similarities in theuse and application of the two sets of drug information outweigh thedifferences (Lomas, Woods, & Veenstra, 1997). Essentially, the provincesappear to have benchmarked much from each other and this is informed mainly bya national theme to efficiently administer prescription and medication ofdrugs. The overall desire has been to ensure that patient’s end up gettingproper medical care free from distortions long associated with complex paperworks.Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are merelyadministrative structures that rely almost exclusively on the happenings inother provinces to make interdependent and related policy goals.
It thenfollows that it is only natural for the two provinces to train their foresightin almost similar policy goals. It is on this basis that the two provinces druginformation system mirrors each other almost entirely.In conclusion, the jurisdiction scan developedfrom a point of strengths and limitations. Strengths involve systemicmethodology and an integrated strategy of evidence sourced from a wide range ofsources. The nature of the jurisdictional scan hereinabove makes it susceptibleto many limitations. Of prominence is conducting searches without necessarilymapping them to subject headings. The next concern is the issue of the selectedjurisdiction being an island while Nova Scotia is not.
Lastly, the twoprovinces have advanced and developed systems of drug information that largelymirror each other. In sum, there is a need for actionable policy actions andpolicy interventions to enhance overall delivery of healthcare.