News release

Drug Information System Will Better Protect Nova Scotians

The province is implementing a drug information system to better protect the health of Nova Scotians. Pharmacists, doctors and other prescribers will be able to share information about the medications patients are taking.

By 2014, the system will provide medication histories to health care professionals to help provide care for their patients. Part of the Better Care Sooner Plan is to use information technology to track and enhance the quality and safety of patient care.

"Once it comes on stream, the drug information system will reduce the risk of allergic or other adverse reactions," said Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health and Wellness. "Doctors will be able to diagnose patients more quickly, which leads to better care sooner."

The system will provide a complete, up-to-date list of a patient's medications from across the province. Whether someone visits a family doctor, specialist, hospital emergency department or walk-in clinic, this information will help ensure the patient receives the most appropriate care. As well, prescribers will be able to see immediately what prescriptions patients already have, which can help them avoid overprescribing, especially important in dealing with narcotics and other regulated drugs.

Patients will no longer have to carry their prescriptions in a bag or write out a list whenever they see a health care provider other than their family doctor.

The system is part of the electronic health record.

The province announced today, July 28, that it has an agreement with Atlantic Canada-based DeltaWare Systems to provide its Medigent Drug Information System.

Four local firms -- Bell Canada, CGI Inc., Sierra Systems Group and The Barrington Consulting Group -- have been awarded contracts to provide essential skills in project management, architecture design and testing, privacy, system testing, change management and project communications.

The $27.1-million cost of the drug information system is being shared by the province and Canada Health Infoway, an independent not-for-profit corporation funded by the government of Canada. Nova Scotia's investment is $17.5 million, while Canada Health Infoway is providing $9.6 million.

Pharmacies will begin using the system in 2013. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The same software is being used in Prince Edward Island and will be used in New Brunswick.


A drug information system will help Nova Scotians receive better care sooner by improving the quality and safety of patient care.

When Nova Scotia's system is in full use in 2014, medication histories will be available to health care to help provide care for their patients.

Today (July 28th), Nova Scotia announced its agreement with Atlantic Canada company DeltaWare Systems to create its drug information system.

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald says the system will make prescribing safer for patients.

Pharmacies will begin using the system in 2013. The drug information system is an important part of Nova Scotia's electronic health records system.