Posted on October 27 by Shelagh Maloney
We live in a digital age and like every other aspect of our lives, Canada’s health system becomes more digital every day. Digital health solutions can be used to book a medical appointment, request a prescription renewal, view health information or consult with a doctor, online. These new technologies are modernizing the health system and making Canadians and their families healthier. Recently we put together a Digital Health Top 10 — what do you think?
- From Patient to Partner — Digital health empowers patients to become informed and active partners in their health. Online access to personal health information, such as lab results, current medications and other vital data, allows Canadians to track their care, ease anxiety, and inform discussions with their health care providers.
- Coordinated Collaboration — Canadians often see a number of health care providers. When health information is available digitally, it is easier to access and helps health care providers access up-to-date information for better, more efficient patient care.
- Time-Saving Technologies — A Conference Board of Canada study suggested that, in 2011, if Canadians had had the ability to access lab results and renew prescriptions online, they could have avoided 47 million in-office visits and taken 18.8 million fewer hours off work.
- Down with Duplicates — Primary care providers using electronic medical records (EMRs) have a comprehensive view of a patient’s health history. This means that tests don’t have to be repeated because authorized clinicians can gain online access to lab tests and other results; this can lead to faster diagnosis and treatment.
- 411 in a 911 — In an emergency, it may not be possible to share your medical history. Through digital health records, authorized clinicians can access medical history, medications and allergies; this makes treatment more efficient and safer.
- Minimizing Mistakes — Digital health increases accuracy by limiting human error. For example, e-prescribing allows prescriptions to be securely created and transmitted to the pharmacist electronically with fewer possibilities for mistakes. This can lead to improved patient safety and fewer adverse drug events.
- Care Confidence — Three-quarters of Canadians report feeling more confident in the care they receive and more knowledgeable about their health when they have access to their health information.
- Day-to-Day Digital — Managing chronic conditions like diabetes and COPD can be easier with digital health technologies. Day-to-day monitoring and tracking with apps let patients track their condition more closely and be more active partners in their care.
- Connecting Communities — Telehealth connects people in remote and rural communities to care through videoconferencing and other technology. As a result, they access care closer to home and avoid hours spent travelling.
- Dollars and Sense — Since 2007, Canadians and our health system have realized $16 billion in benefits from investments in digital health.
This year Digital Health Week is November 14 – 20. The Better Health Together community of more than 40 health care organizations invites Canadians to join the conversation via #ThinkDigitalHealth. To learn more, visit www.betterhealthtogether.ca.
Have a comment about this post? We’d love to hear from you.
Shelagh Maloney is responsible for driving the implementation and adoption of patient-centred digital health solutions and patient engagement activities. She oversees evaluation efforts that measure the benefits of digital health investments in Canada and leads the development and execution of all of Infoway’s communications and marketing efforts.