What: In Nova Scotia, the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) has decided to award a contract for its preferred EMR system to Ontario-based Nightingale Informatix Corporation, much to the dismay of software vendors in the local region.
The Nightingale software has, however, been so unpopular with Nova Scotia physicians that the DHW has been offering a $10,000 incentive to make the switch to Nightingale. The system is, according to doctors, prone to crashes. But according to competitors, this isn’t just a case of the DWH offering the money to doctors currently not using EMR software; the DWH is using taxpayer money to take their clients.
Why: “[The DHW] seem[s] to want to model this after the long-gun registry, which is how can you do something the most expensive way that will be guaranteed not to work,” says Bob Brown, Vice President of Dymaxion Research Limited, a competitor which has been selling EMR software in Nova Scotia under the label ‘Practimax’, since 1999. “And that is, you come up with a single model and you tell all users that this is what you’re going to be using, no matter what seems to be right for you at the time. … There’s no indication that Nightingale is the best software or the worst software, or anything else; it’s just that doctors, like everybody else, don’t like to be told what to do.”