The Ministry of Health – The Community Healthcare and Resource Directory (CHARD)

The Ministry of Health – The Community Healthcare and Resource Directory (CHARD)


Portfolio Description

Background and History

The General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) and HealthLink BC (811) partnered together on this project. The GPSC is a committee which provides a vehicle for representatives of the Government, the BC Medical Association, and the Society of General Practitioners to work together on matters affecting General Practice in British Columbia. HealthLink BC (811) is the gateway to access non-emergency health information and services in British Columbia.

The Problem

A major challenge facing GPs and other health care providers in British Columbia is to provide timely and appropriate referrals for patients. One of the reasons for this is the lack of accessible, accurate and up-to-date information on the types and availability of specialist health care services and practitioners.

Their challenges were:

  • Health care providers were spending significant amounts of time in the referral process
  • Patients were being referred unnecessarily to multiple specialists
  • Health services were not being used as efficiently as they could be

Our Solution

Spot Solutions developed the Community Healthcare and Resource Directory (CHARD) application. CHARD provides an exhaustive, province-wide directory of health care services and practitioners, allowing health care professionals to locate information about health care practitioners and services in both the public and for-profit systems.

The directory includes details such as services provided, referral process and forms, physician-only contact information, services fees, specialty and sub-specialty areas, research interests and more. The directory also indicates whether or not the practitioner is accepting new patients. The directory is primarily a web-based, self-serve application with a small support centre to assist users in accessing the directory or revising/adding a listing. The web-based application is not accessible by the public and includes a security layer that prevents access without authorization.

The Impact

The Ministry of Health can now provide more efficient access to health services.

Now they can:

  • Provide health professionals with better information on the health resources from which they may draw to improve the health of their patients
  • Guide health professionals to the most appropriate resource to meet their patients’ needs
  • Improve the efficiency with which health professionals can refer patients to the most appropriate health resources
  • Improve the professional satisfaction of health care providers by reducing time and effort in the referral process
  • Improve patient health care experiences through reducing the “pin-ball effect”; being referred unnecessarily to multiple specialists and back to the referring GP