Nothing defines Canada like our treasured healthcare system. It is a tremendous source of national pride. Yet it is expensive. A 2008 study from CIHI predicts Canada’s healthcare spending will outpace inflation in 2009, reaching $171.9 billion, or $5,170 per person. This represents a $10.3-billion increase over estimated expenditures for 2008, or a growth of 6.4 per cent. It will put health expenditures at 10.7 per cent of the gross domestic product, a rate that has been steadily rising from 10 per cent in 2002.
However today, Canadian healthcare organizations spend less than 2% of their operating budget on ICT each year. Through the implementation of provincial and other EHR initiatives such as those funded by Canada Health Infoway, this is expected to grow by 0.5% in the coming year. However it still falls well short of the benchmark 4% that many developed nations are at, or are moving towards.
In the words of Mazankowski “We must move healthcare from a 19th century cottage industry to a 21st century service industry.” ITAC Health believes that the Canadian Healthcare Information and Communications Technology industry can and should – even, must – play a responsible, responsive, cooperative and leading role in this transition.
A Brief History
The concept of ITAC Health, formerly known as CHITTA, was developed in late 2001 by a dedicated group of CEOs and senior executives of leading Canadian companies providing products and services to the Canadian healthcare community. Their firms represented a broad spectrum of ICT services to an equally broad spectrum of Canada′s healthcare delivery system and its supporting infrastructure. Health Canada was also represented in this founding group.
In 2005 CHITTA and ITAC merged in order to create a unified Healthcare ICT industry association and in that a stronger single voice for the members they served. On November 19, 2008 in Toronto, at the 4th Annual Canadian Health Informatics Awards Gala, ITAC Health was officially launched as the final step in the merger process.
ITAC Health Today
ITAC Health’s primary role is to advocate for appropriate levels of ICT spending in healthcare. Through influencing strategies supported by solid evidence of the benefits of ICT, we demonstrate the value and hence support the case for increased investment.
Supporting this core agenda, we help build the human capacity in the industry in order to meet the demands of healthcare organizations as they adopt more and more ICTs.
Our standing committees also work on activities such as:
- The development of national standards for health care ICT products
- Consultations with and presentations by government and health authority decision makers
- International trade missions
- Networking events
- Trade shows
Isn’t it time you joined?
ITAC Health, Canada’s only Health ICT Vendor Association, provides it’s members with access to leaders of industry, information and collaboration opportunities, through an integrated voice to the industry.
ITAC Health provides their members the ability foster opportunities for collaboration and networking through face-to-face social and business environment with leaders of the industry and prospective clients and partners. As an integrated voice, members help influence the Canadian healthcare ICT market through active participation in our standing committees and various ad hoc working groups. ITAC Health provides information to its members on the market trends and issues they need to be addressed, including potential exporting opportunities. Members develop a sense of direction of where the industry is going— what challenges are being addressed — what challenges have been surmounted — and, where their influence, products and services can assist others. Not only are members made aware of the provincial, federal and global issues and agendas — they are provided a position to be heard.