This week marks the first-ever Digital Health Week in Canada, taking place from November 10 to 14, 2014 led by a unique collaboration of 18 organizations to recognize how digital health is transforming care and helping to improve delivery of care across the country.
Canada’s Digital Health Strategy
According to Infoway, Canada’s digital health infrastructure has three fundamental components:
1. Point of Care Systems – Compatible systems that your health care providers use to send, retrieve and manage critical health information within their individual practices or organizations. An example is an electronic medical record in your family doctor’s office.
2. Storage – Core database being built by the provinces and territories to securely share very specific clinical information so that authorized health care providers can retrieve and contribute pertinent information when they are treating you. Components include:
- Information that securely identifies your health record;
- Information that securely identifies your authorized care provider(s);
- Diagnostic images like X-rays, MRIs and CT scans;
- Laboratory results;
- and other clinical tests and records such as hospital discharge summaries, allergy and/or immunization reports.
3. Connection – Over time, this is what will deliver the most value. It allows for the secure exchange of critical information between authorized health care providers at different locations who are all caring for you.
These foundational components supports digital health solutions, such as improving patient access to personal information through secure online portals, pharmacy e-prescriptions or consulting with your health care provider through secure messaging.
Digital Health in Canada Facts
To kick off the first digital health week in Canada, here are five key facts about digital health in Canada from Canada Health Infoway:
1. Nine in 10 Canadians want to be able to e-book health care appointments. E-booking offers a range of benefits for both patients and clinicians including reduced no-show rates, increased productivity and enhanced patient and staff satisfaction.
2. Almost two-thirds of primary care physicians in Canada report using an electronic medical record offering better quality of care and health outcomes through preventive care and chronic disease management.
3. Ninety-nine per cent of x-ray, CT and similar scans in Canadian hospitals are now digital. Digital diagnostic imaging allows authorized health care providers to collect, store, manage and access images regardless of where they, or their patients, are located.
4. Laboratory test results for 81 per cent of Canadians are available in electronic form, for access by authorized clinicians. Electronic medical record-integrated settings were able to sort, archive and retrieve a single lab report 87 per cent faster than paper-based practices.
5. Telehealth videoconferencing is available in 98 per cent of hospitals making Canada a global leader in this area. Telehealth saved more than 47 million kilometres in travel and $70 million in personal travel costs for patients and their families in 2010 alone.
Digital Health Week in Canada Calendar
Below is a calendar of activities this week:
- Wednesday, November 12:
- Tweet Chat: Digital Health Transforming the Patient Experience (from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST) #digitalhealthweek will be partnering with #hcsmca (Healthcare Social Media Canada) to hold a tweet chat. Join us to discuss how digital health is transforming the patient experience.
- COACH Webinar: HI HR 2019 Outlook: Strategy Directions for Your Organizations & Your Career (from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST)
- Thursday, November 13:
- Public Health Social Media Challenge announcement
- Friday, November 14:
- Webinar: Exploring the gap between what Canadians want and what they have for healthcare (from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST)
For more information about Digital Health Week in Canada, visit http://www.betterhealthtogether.ca/digital-health-week/