From detailed guides to online courses – resources are available to provide you with the knowledge necessary to build and integrate EHR applications.

Core Infrastructure Services

Other core technologies are required to interconnect stakeholders, services, and resources for the EHR:

  • Portal: based on a common platform (hardware, software and basic configuration), portal infrastructure provides a point of aggregation for EHR stakeholders to access reference materials, access and share PHI, and collaborate
  • Secure messaging: technology and infrastructure supporting the secure and private exchange of information among EHR stakeholders and components (e.g. HIAL segments, repositories, registries, point of service systems)
  • Directory services: repositories of people, organizations and places with standards-based interfaces for access (e.g. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Active Directory)
  • Hosting: secure facilities and services required to physically house information and information technology assets for the EHR
  • Network: as a result of increased reliability and bandwidth, as well as application security, the internet is suitable for the secure sharing of PHI, providing health care clients with more choice and cost savings. eHealth Ontario manages a secure private network for service classes or network requirements that the internet cannot address, or for health care applications that cannot be securely accessed via the internet.
  • Security services: technologies and facilities providing information and technology safeguards for the EHR, including authentication and authorization, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), immutable logging, network and security (firewalls, intrusion detection), and malware detection (virus scanning)
  • Support: provincial and integrated EHR solutions must be properly managed, operated, maintained, and supported. Effective end user support infrastructure must be in place.
  • Operations: ongoing services to operate the application or system following the design and build of a solution
  • Enterprise availability services (EAS): as more EHR services are deployed, service delivery becomes more critical and the right technology, operations and people must be in place to sustain it. EAS will enable the delivery of health care services with an availability level to meet current and future service levels. This may include the use of continuous operations, high-availability techniques, and continuous availability services, as well as disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.
    • Continuous availability is an approach to system and application design that protects users against downtime, whatever the cause, and ensures that users remain connected to their applications.
    • Systems with high availability are designed and operated so that systems and components remain available for a defined period of time, avoiding unplanned outages. Planned outages may occur. High availability involves sufficient redundant components so that a failure of one (or more) does not prevent the system from continuing to provide services.
    • Systems running continuous operation are designed to avoid planned outages (unplanned outages may still occur). By having multiple systems capable of performing each service, they can be maintained and upgraded while still providing services. 
    • Disaster recovery is the ability to resume operations after a disaster and consequential loss of service to end users. It uses IT-focused plans to restore applications, systems or data centres during or after a disruption. Once a disaster is declared, a business continuity process is invoked, providing alternate ways for business services to function. Manual methods may be employed to facilitate business functions until services resume. During recovery, the reintegration of any manually processed transactions may be required.
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