Despite Ontario’s Northern Health Travel Grant, some still pay out of pocket

Northern Travel Grant

When Nan Normand’s husband had quintuple bypass surgery, it cost them $1,500. It wasn’t the operation that was pricey, but the travel. The couple went from Kenora, a small city near the Ontario-Manitoba border, to Hamilton for the surgery. The trek included flights and a multiple-night stay. Normand was unlucky: Manitoba had temporarily stopped accepting most Ontario heart patients,

We are on the cusp of a mobile health revolution

Joshua Landy

When I was a medical student in the mid-2000s, I witnessed the early phases of mobile apps designed to help deliver healthcare. They were mostly electronic books, in the form of preloaded web pages. We’ve come a long way: I’m now a practicing physician and I find myself using an increasing number of mobile health

Policy implications for the virtualization of health services

Will Falk blogger

Virtual care (where the provider and patient are separated in space and sometimes in time) is a natural next step in technological innovation for healthcare. Increasing care virtualization has the potential to improve quality of life for patients while increasing the healthcare system’s efficiency but it presents substantial challenges for clinicians and policy makers.  The

Computers vs. patients

Ishani Ganguli healthydebate blogger

If you’re a medical intern (a new doctor in their first year of additional training after medical school), most of what you need to do your job can be pulled off a computer screen: Blood test results. Paged messages. Orders to start a medication. All but, of course, how sick a patient is. How he

We have the communication technology – let’s use it!

Wendy Graham healthy debate blogger

There is little doubt that Canada requires a seismic shift in policy and leadership – though not necessarily additional significant investment – to make the needed improvements in health care delivery. This is made abundantly clear in the Health Council of Canada’s Progress Report 2013: Health Care Renewal in Canada; an impressive report that captures

Are Canadians too satisfied with their health care system?

Tara Kiran Healthy Debate Blogger

Canadians are proud of Medicare and consistently report being satisfied with the health care services they receive. But, perhaps they should be demanding better. The most recent Health Council of Canada report highlights findings from the 2012 Commonwealth Fund survey of primary care physicians in 10 high income countries. In almost all areas – from

Why aren’t Canadian family doctors embracing e-communication?

Tara Kiran Healthy Debate Blogger

In the last decade, technology has revolutionized the way we live and work. We email and text more often than we phone or fax. We share photos with friends using Facebook and debate with colleagues in real-time using Twitter. We pay bills, book plane tickets, and buy clothes on-line. We can effortlessly post opinionated blogs

The most exciting part of eHealth

Rob Fraser blogger

When talking with my family and friends outside of healthcare I get mixed reactions to what eHealth means. Responses can range from simple to sad. “Is that like MRIs and stuff? “Do we have electronic records like at the store?” “My doctor has a Blackberry…. but I can’t email him, so I don’t know.”  However,

TechRx: building the apps pharmacy

Will Falk blogger

Health Apps will be “prescribed” by clinicians for their patients in the near future. This article tries to sketch out how this “TechRx” and “Apps Pharmacy” process could/should develop. According to a recent report from Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, there are about 17,000 healthcare apps currently in use.  This compares to a reported 300,000

Ontario’s new diabetes registry – the end of patient privacy?

Shelagh McRae blogger

More and more doctors across Canada are using electronic medical records to keep track of their patients’ health information.  Finding a patient’s information record in most electronic medical databases involves entering the first few letters of each name, hitting <Enter> and choosing the appropriate person from the resulting drop-down list. Recently while looking up one

Who controls how patient information is shared in Ontario?

Privacy of Medical Records in Ontario

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner recently ordered Cancer Care Ontario to stop sending paper copies of screening reports containing personal health information to physicians.   However, a massive amount of personal health information is mailed or faxed every day in Ontario.  The implications of this order to information sharing and transfer across the health care