MONTREAL - After years of delays, tests and pilot projects, Quebec is moving ahead with its province-wide shift to put medical records in an electronic format.

Health minister Rejean Hebert says there is a solid plan in place and it begins right now, with a push to get all hospitals, clinics and pharmacies on board.

The pilot projects that have been running for some time and according to the Health Ministry the overwhelming majority of people involved like how its works.

Doctor Daniel Leveille was part of one of the pilot projects and says he loves having instant access to the dossiers of 85,000 patients, even if some patients are still reluctant to take part.

"Before there was none of my patients I could press on a button to see all their meds and all their labs. Even if they're sixty percent it's better than nothing," said Dr. Leveille.

To date only one percent of patients who were eligible to take part have opted out of the system, saying they do not want their records to be easily accessed.

The electronic records will include everything related to a patient's medical records: X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, vaccination records, surgical records etc...

The province says it is doing its utmost to ensure that only authorized people check on the records.

It should be implemented across the province in the next two and a half years.

"We are working very hard to give a professional and institutional access by 2015 and the next step afterward will be to give the patient access to his medical records," said Hebert.

With medical mistakes all too common, the records could help reduce the number of misdiagnoses or incorrect information.

Pharmacist Valerie Marcouiller says one current source of errors is when the wrong ID number is used on a prescription.

The new digital record system will eliminate that problem.

"We miss a digit, wrong doctor, so let's say we have to call the doctor. I lose my time on the phone, and it's not the good doctor. We lose a lot of time so it will be really really helpful," said Marcouiller.

The centralization and organization of health records should also help in case of emergency, or when someone is unaware or unable to clearly state every medication they are taking.

The introduction of the new system will be promoted with government advertisements over the next month and will be implemented fully by the end of 2015.

One expert on such systems said that Quebec seems to be on the right road.

“The big challenge is really about governance, privacy, security and professional boundaries,” said Dr. Robyn Tamblyn of McGill’s Department of Medicine.

“I think they've addressed all the issues in this respect and I think we're poised to make a fundamental difference in the way people receive care in the province,” she said.