Electronic health information system at an opioid treatment programme: roadblocks to implementation

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Rationale  Electronic health systems are commonly included in health care reform discussions. However, their embrace by the health care community has been slow.

Methods  At Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation, a methadone maintenance programme that also provides primary medical care, HIV medical care and case management, substance abuse counselling and vocational services, we describe our experience in implementing an electronic health information system that encompasses all of these areas.

Results  We describe the challenges and opportunities of this process in terms of change management, hierarchy of corporate objectives, process mastering, training issues, information technology governance, electronic security, and communication and collaboration.

Conclusion  This description may provide practical insights to other institutions seeking to pursue this technology.