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Alberta develops world's first electronic surgical reporting

Alberta cancer surgeons have implemented the world's first Web Surgical Medical Records program (WebSMR) and will be extending the program to other parts of the province thanks to $1.4 million in funding by Canada Health Infoway.

The new tool allows doctors to fill out a standardized electronic report after performing surgeries. The reports can be shared by the entire cancer care team, enabling them to make better decisions and improve the quality and safety of post-operative care for patients.

"Alberta is committed to reducing cancer mortality 50 per cent by the year 2025," says Dr. Anthony Fields, vice president of the Alberta Cancer Board. "A tool that tracks the effectiveness of surgical procedures is an important step toward that goal." Without consistent improvements to cancer prevention and treatments the aging population in the province will contribute to a doubling of cancer cases by the year 2025. "We're committed to leadership in innovation," says Fields. "WebSMR is a technology we expect will be of great interest to surgeons around the world and it's a technology that will help us have better patient outcomes." "This innovative approach will enhance healthcare quality by improving outcomes for Albertans who undergo cancer-surgery," said. Dr. Sarah Muttitt, Infoway's Acting Vice-President, Innovation and Adoption."

Surgeons previously dictated reports after surgeries, which were later transcribed and filed. The process was expensive and time consuming and retrieving information for analysis required an exhaustive chart review.

But the new technology, developed by Alberta surgeons, allows doctors to invest the same amount of time to complete a standardized template while still in the surgical suite. Dr. Walley Temple, Chief of Surgical Oncology at the Alberta Cancer Board's Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary says, "This approach has really moved surgery from an art to a science. Suddenly, you can analyze what works
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Contact: Lee Elliott
lee.elliott@cancerboard.ab.ca
780-409-5715
Alberta Cancer Board
15-Jun-2006


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