Digital Health Week is November 11 to 17, and is an annual celebration and recognition of how digital health is transforming the delivery of care across Canada as more and more of our health care system becomes digital.
Launched in 2014, Digital Health Week is now a part of the ACCESS 2022 movement, which is bringing together Canadians, health care providers, government and industry to work towards a new day in health care, said a release from Canada Health Infoway.
A new website allows patients to see results of medical tests before returning to their doctor.
Saskatchewan residents are now able to search and view their own medical information online from the comfort of home through MySaskHealthRecord, the release said.
To take advantage of the service, which was unveiled recently, residents need to be at least 18 years of age, have a Saskatchewan health card and valid photo identification from SGI. Registration can be completed using the eHealth website and once complete, a secure PIN will be mailed to the user.
"You go in [to see your doctor] and it's proactive now. You've seen the results [of tests]. You go in there [and] whatever shock value, if there is any, has been eliminated," Tyler Moss, a researcher and kidney patient, said about his appointments with a physician, in the release.
"You just go in and have a very detailed conversation and a proactive one, and you start moving forward with the treatment plan."
This is a game changer, giving patients the information they need to play an active role in their health care.
The 1,200 people involved in the pilot for the website far surpassed the anticipated demand for the service, Warren Kaeding, minister of rural and remote health, said in the release.
"More than 80 per cent of those involved in the original pilot program said their doctor’s appointments were more valuable because they had test results in advance," Kaeding added.
Naomi Miller suffers from osteo-arthritis and a degenerative disc disease, which means she frequently needs access to her information and the health system in general.
"Being able to see my lab results from home saves time for both myself and my doctor since I can avoid some unnecessary doctor visits when the purpose of the visit was just to find out what the results were," said Miller in the release.
If the results are concerning in some way, then she can then go ahead and book an appointment with her physician.
"This is a game changer, giving patients the information they need to play an active role in their health care," Kaeding said.
"Some provinces that offer similar programs have delays built in so that people have to wait to see their own personal health information, and some provinces only provide limited lab results or require people to have a family physician in order to sign up."
Patients will be able to track data like blood pressure if they choose or set reminders for appointments. Immunization history and prescription information will be added at a later date, Kaeding concluded.
Once registered on eHealth's website, people can view their personal health information, lab test results, medical imaging reports and other options. The website will also lend a helping hand by letting patients know whether their test results are in the normal range.