Questions and answers
TELUS is fairly unique in the telecom sector with its focus on healthcare. What did you accomplish in 2011 and what is planned for 2012?
TELUS has been keenly focused on the healthcare sector for over a decade. We have strengthened our service capabilities and built deep industry expertise to create a platform for growth for TELUS. We have done this by combining our own capabilities with targeted small and mid-size acquisitions and partnerships. TELUS Health Solutions is now a recognized leader in Canada with solutions that give health authorities, health providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to enhance decision-making and improve health outcomes for Canadians.
In 2011, a TELUS-led consortium secured a ground-breaking agreement with the Government of Alberta for the implementation of personal health records for Albertans. This solution will provide Albertans with direct and secure electronic access to their health information so they can increasingly be more involved in their own care.
We are also starting to link electronic medical records (EMR) to personal health records to create a better service solution. With more than 80 per cent of patient encounters happening in physician offices, rather than hospitals, TELUS strengthened its position in the EMR market by acquiring in early 2012 Wolf Medical Systems, Canada's fastest-growing cloud-based EMR provider. Our new line of business, TELUS Physician Solutions EMR, will help doctors coordinate and share information securely with their extended healthcare teams and their patients and families anytime, anywhere.
TELUS Physician Solutions EMR enhances our portfolio of world-class health record solutions, which also include TELUS Health Space (for consumers at home and on the go via a smartphone or tablet) and Oacis (for healthcare institutions). TELUS is well positioned to facilitate the integration of health records by ensuring critical health information is available to care providers over secure wireline and wireless broadband networks.
In 2011, we expanded our remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution in Quebec's Lower St. Laurent region so that 2,000 clinicians can better monitor an additional 10,000 chronically ill patients. In addition, we secured an agreement with the Ontario Telehealth Network to expand our footprint into Ontario with plans to deploy 5,000 units in 2012. This will bring total installations of our leading-edge RPM technology to close to 20,000 locations across Canada.
TELUS is well positioned to facilitate the integration of health records by ensuring critical health information is available to care providers over secure wireline and wireless broadband networks.
In our health benefits management business, 2011 was an excellent year for TELUS with over 100 million drug claim transactions. We also continued to see success with our eClaims service platform, with nearly 10,000 healthcare providers now participating. In addition, we developed and launched the innovative WorkSafeBC provider portal in partnership with the Government of B.C. This should demonstrate TELUS' capabilities, solutions and expertise to other Workers' Compensation Boards across Canada and provide new opportunities in the future.
With TELUS' strengths in connectivity and healthcare assets, and our capacity to offer integrated wireline and wireless solutions over IP on multiple devices, we are bolstering our leadership position by working co-operatively with healthcare providers across Canada.