World Patient Safety Day 2021: Digital Health for Perinatal Care

  • Access to Care
  • e-Mental Health

World Patient Safety Day is observed every year on September 17. According to the World Health Organization, its objectives are “…to enhance global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in health care safety, and promote global action to prevent and reduce avoidable harm in health care.” This year’s theme is “Safe Maternal and Newborn Care.” 

Preparing for Fall with e-Mental Health Resources

  • e-Mental Health
  • Virtual Care

As another school year begins and the summer winds down, many Canadians are checking in on their mental health. Infoway research has found that fewer Canadians self-reported “Excellent” or “Very Good” mental health status after the pandemic’s onset, and the most recent Mental Health Index from LifeWorks shows that Canadians’ mental health continues to remain below pre-pandemic levels.

A New Resource for Digital Mental Health

Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) collaborated with Canada Health Infoway to develop a resource to support mental health clinicians and clients in introducing digital mental health tools into their care practice. This resource provides clinicians with tools that can support the integration of digital mental health into interactions between clients and clinicians.

New Channels for Digital Health Research

Underpinning digital health adoption and implementation is a substantial amount of digital health research. At Infoway, we conduct research into the value of digital health tools and services and the resources that help enable them. This work helps raise awareness of policy gaps and informs decision-making.

Re-Examining the Social Determinants of Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has concretely demonstrated the impact that social factors can have on health and health equity. Health inequities occur when a person experiences poorer outcomes and quality of care based on who they are, where they live or what they have. The new Social Determinants of Health Working Group on InfoCentral will explore how to incorporate social determinants of health (SDOH) concepts into digital health systems.

Canadian Men’s Health Month: Examining Access to Care

June is Canadian Men’s Health Month. Established by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, this month recognizes the importance of men’s health. This year’s theme is Move for Your Mental Health, encouraging men to get active to improve their physical and mental health. This initiative also helps to raise funds to support men’s mental health.

Assessing Canadians’ Digital Health Literacy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed rapid change in how Canadians engage with health care professionals. According to an Infoway survey, as of April 2021, 36 per cent of all patient-reported routine visits were conducted virtually, compared to 15 per cent pre-pandemic. With more health services being provided digitally, and more Canadians turning to virtual care on a regular basis, digital health literacy is becoming increasingly important to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of digital health for both providers and patients.

Connecting the Hospital and the Home

As digital health tools and services play an increasingly large role in Canadians’ lives, how we think about models of care delivery is changing. In some cases, health care is moving out of the four walls of the hospital and into the home. Recently, we invited Dr. Michelle Grinman and Dr. Shauna Tierney to the Digital Health InfoCast , Infoway’s podcast, to discuss hospital at home care and their new InfoCentral community.

#WeAnswerTheCall: National Nursing Week 2021

National Nursing Week occurs every year during the week of May 12: the birthdate of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. It celebrates the nursing profession and recognizes the dedication and contributions of nurses across Canada. This year’s theme is #WeAnswerTheCall, recognizing the many roles that nurses play in the health system and in patients’ health care journeys.

Mental Health Week 2021: Supporting Youth through e-Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just threatened Canadians’ physical health. It’s impacting mental health as well. According to Infoway research, mental health needs are increasing, with 21 per cent of Canadians reporting fair or poor mental health last year, compared to 17 per cent in 2019.

How to Find PrescribeIT Near You

In a recent Infoway study, 80 per cent of respondents were interested in having their health provider send a prescription directly to their pharmacy, without receiving a paper prescription. With 40 per cent of primary care visits now occurring virtually, e-prescribing is becoming an increasingly important tool for clinicians.

How e-Mental Health Tools Can Support Canadians — through COVID-19 and Beyond

COVID-19 has further exacerbated mental health concerns in Canada. In a recent study conducted by Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), fewer people reported excellent (18 per cent) or very good (31 per cent ) mental health status in 2020 compared to 2019 (24 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively). Similar findings were illustrated by the Canadian Perspective Survey Series conducted by Statistics Canada.

Why Virtual Care needs to be Inclusive

Nearly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, it is apparent that its effects have been disproportionately felt by Black and racialized Canadians. Research shows that Black people are more likely to contract COVID-19 than white people and are dying at higher rates from the virus. This high COVID-19 mortality rate in Black communities is mostly associated with prior poor health conditions resulting from diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, Black Canadians report worse health outcomes in general compared to white Canadians.

Unprecedented Times Call for Unprecedented Collaboration

As we acknowledge the one-year anniversary of the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, many of us will reflect on how this virus, that didn’t even exist eighteen months ago, has irrevocably changed our world. It’s astounding to think that every single person on this planet has been impacted by COVID-19.

Let’s Talk: Accessing Support through e-Mental Health Services

Staying home and wearing masks is protecting our physical health — but it’s important to look after our mental health as well.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there is growing concern about Canadians’ mental health. According to a recent Infoway study, 21 per cent of Canadians reported a “fair” or “poor” mental health status in 2020, up from 17 per cent in 2019. Their use of digital mental health tools is increasing, too. In 2020, 16 per cent of Canadians stated that they’ve used an e-mental health service in the past, up from 12 per cent in 2019.

Addressing Health Care Inequities through Race-Based Data

  • Access to Care
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Standards

A virus may not discriminate on its own, but systemic inequities mean that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted racialized groups. Data from the United States and the United Kingdom show higher rates of negative health outcomes and deaths related to COVID-19 among Black populations, due in part to the compounding effects of anti-Black racism and its subsequent impact on the social determinants of health.

Beyond the Binary: Sex and Gender Information in EHRs

  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Standards

It’s unsettling, going unseen. Several years ago, I sat in an exam room with Kleenex scrunched in my fist. The clinician had just suggested a common procedure — except it wouldn’t be routine for me. Quite the opposite. As she did her best to offer assurance, I felt the realization slowly build. You don’t understand why I’m upset.

The Right Data, the Right Decisions: Why Patients Need Access to Their Health Information

When it comes to health, little things can catch us by surprise.

During a recent chat, my colleague Katie related, “I was hiking last summer when I cut myself on dirty metal. Just a random accident, my hand hit a railing wrong.”

Improving Access to Care for Canadians: Infoway’s Plan for 2019-2020

A few months ago, Infoway launched a movement called ACCESS 2022 to inspire a new day for health care in Canada. We envision a future where all Canadians have access to their health information through the availability and use of digital health tools and services. We believe this will empower patients and improve health outcomes.

The Evolution of Patient Engagement

Patients spend 8,760 hours a year managing their health. There is no doubt they are health care experts and have an incredible depth and breadth of lived experience invaluable to a learning health care system.