From the CEO

Technology in healthcare: Taking the lead in responding to change

One of the most stressful issues I hear about from members is the rapid rate of technological change in healthcare. Impacts differ within settings and specialties, but technology is affecting the way physicians practise, and members are trying to leverage its benefits while addressing the challenges it might bring.

At the CMPA, we are enthusiastic about the potential impacts of technology on both how we deliver services to our members and how physicians deliver care to patients. However, we also recognize that, if implemented poorly or without appropriate policies or regulatory frameworks, new techniques and devices can trigger unintended medical liability consequences. For this reason, we work to support the development of policies and frameworks that guide how physicians adopt and apply new technologies. In short, we want to ensure that our physician members are protected as the medical-legal environment changes.

To help shape policy and regulatory responses, we make formal and informal submissions on behalf of members to medical regulatory authorities (Colleges), governments, medical associations, and other partners. We have substantively contributed to electronic record and data sharing guidelines, addressed privacy frameworks dealing with personal health information, and are actively working to ensure medical liability considerations are resolved as new technologies reach practice. Additionally, our physician advisors provide peer-to-peer support to members each day as they work to implement new, technology-driven techniques and approaches.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of technology that presents considerable potential benefit with risks that are currently not well-defined. AI-driven solutions are rapidly becoming the reality in certain types of practice and this trend should only accelerate.

To help physicians recognize the possibilities this technology offers and understand the potential medical-legal implications, the CMPA will host an information session on “Artificial intelligence in healthcare” during this year’s Annual Meeting and Conference on August 14 in Toronto.

Our keynote speaker is Dr. David Naylor, professor of medicine and President Emeritus of the University of Toronto. He will help us understand the current and potential role of AI in healthcare, and he will provide advice to physicians as AI becomes more prevalent in Canadian practices.

I encourage you to attend the session in person or via live webcast. I also invite you to visit our website and explore our resources addressing technology in practice.

The CMPA has been protecting our members’ interests since 1901—and as technology advances, we will continue to protect your practice and support your delivery of safe medical care.

Hartley Stern