The Importance of Standards in Health Care

  • Interoperability
  • Standards

Each year on October 14, we celebrate World Standards Day and acknowledge the collaborative efforts of experts worldwide who develop the technical standards that underpin our work in digital health. This year, World Standards Day is focused on our shared vision for a better world.

Celebrating 20 Years of Progress

  • Annual Report

2021 marks Infoway’s 20th anniversary — a significant milestone for our organization. While we have made tremendous progress in digital health over the past 20 years, there is still more work to be done to ensure that Canadians have the health system they want and deserve. We are committed to continuing that work and to collaborating with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, and all other health system stakeholders, including clinicians and patients.

Privacy Legislation Reform in Canada

  • Privacy & Security

Increasing use of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the introduction of new contact tracing applications and discussions around vaccine passports, raised new and highlighted existing privacy considerations this past year. As the Federal Privacy Commissioner pointed out, the pandemic has accelerated the digital revolution — bringing both benefits as well as new challenges for privacy, and with it highlighting potential gaps in Canada’s privacy legislative framework.

Integration of ICNP into SNOMED CT Brings Voice to Nursing Practice

  • Nurses
  • Standards

The 2020 agreement between SNOMED International and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) is an opportunity to highlight the clinical work of nursing. The ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nurses’ associations worldwide. Under the agreement, the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) will be incorporated into SNOMED CT, the world’s most comprehensive clinical terminology with more than 350,000 active concepts, and SNOMED International will manage, produce and release the ICNP on behalf of ICN, which will maintain governance and ownership of the ICNP content.

Digital Health Week: 2020

  • Digital Health Week

I think it’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t been what anyone expected — particularly for health care. But while this year has brought immense challenges to the health system, it has also served to highlight the progress we’ve made in implementing digital health across Canada. Digital Health Week (November 16-22) is a time to celebrate that progress, and to recognize the benefits of digital health to Canadians. This year, COVID-19 has reaffirmed the importance of virtual care as another option for care delivery.

We Love our Online Devices — now It’s Time to Show Them We Care

  • Privacy & Security

Fall is often a time when we think about new starts and new beginnings. Like many parents, I have a stepson starting university. As a security professional, I worry about an online world that has become even more “virtualized” as a result of COVID-19. Not only are classes online, but bank accounts, student loans, social events and the bookstore exist only in this virtual space. Students connect with other students, their professors, academic advisors, teaching assistants and others using their smartphones, computers and other devices.

How Standards Protect our Planet

  • Standards

World Standards Day (October 14) recognizes the collaborative efforts of experts across the globe to develop the standards underpinning our work in digital health. This year, the fragility of our human, health and environmental systems feels particularly exposed. And so, it feels entirely fitting to me that the theme of World Standards Day 2020 is “Protecting the Planet with Standards.” Standards don’t just enable data to flow more freely; they have important environmental benefits as well.

Interoperability on FHIR

  • FHIR
  • Interoperability
  • Standards

Whether you’re a physician sending diagnostic imaging across the country or a patient checking lab results on a smartphone, it’s essential that different health information systems and devices can talk to each other. This mutually intelligible flow of information between systems is interoperability, and it is essential to effective digital health, especially in Canada, where different provinces and territories look after their own systems.

How One Parser Enables Interoperability for Cancer Care

  • FHIR
  • Interoperability
  • Standards

If there is a universal truth about health care, it’s this: there are a lot of forms. However, not all of them are created equal. Often, the data captured is static — it can’t be independently shared or queried.

Connecting Canadians Through Health Care Innovation

  • Annual Report

We are pleased to publish our 2019-2020 Annual Report – Connecting Canadians Through Health Care Innovation. I hope you will take some time to review it to learn about the collective progress we’ve made across the country to improve Canadians’ access to their personal health information and to digital health tools and services.

Telepathology in Canada

  • Access to Care

When disease is suspected, how long does it take a patient to go from biopsy to diagnosis and treatment plan? It depends where you live. Across Canada, it can take anywhere from days, weeks, or months.

World Health Day 2020: Gratitude and Service

  • COVID-19
  • Research & Benefits Evaluation

The World Health Organization (WHO) established World Health Day in 1948 to raise awareness of the importance of health. On this World Health Day, that simple message – health is important – has never been more relevant.  

Standards Community Responds Quickly to COVID-19 Crisis with New Concepts and Terms

  • Standards
  • COVID-19

Health care organizations need the ability to share health information consistently and efficiently, and the current COVID-19 public health emergency illustrates why.

Digital Health and COVID-19

  • Standards
  • COVID-19
  • Digital Health

Much of the world’s attention since we began the new decade has been focused on the identification and spread of the Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. While the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet declared it a global pandemic, the virus has been labeled a Public Health Emergency of International Concern since January and scientists from across the globe are tracking the virus and trying to predict what will happen next.

Collaborating to Improve Access to Care for Canadians

  • Access to Information

Canadians want better access to health care and services and they are keen to go online, from their mobile phones or other devices, to view lab test results and other personal health information.

Transforming the Patient Experience with Telehomecare

  • Digital Health

Telehomecare is enabling more Canadians to receive care at home, transforming the patient experience and helping to improve their quality of life by avoiding hospital stays and trips to the emergency department. It has also saved a significant amount of money for health systems across the country.

The Unintended Consequences of Health Care Advances

  • Digital Health

The past several decades have seen tremendous advances in medical care. As a society, we often celebrate these results and applaud how innovation has improved our health and our lives overall. But what is often overlooked are the unintended — and often unnoticed — consequences of these advancements.

“Axe the Fax” – Pharmacist Discusses Efficiency and Reliability with PrescribeIT

  • Digital Health

This blog post builds upon a conversation with pharmacist Abhay Patel during our PrescribeIT® panel webinar on March 28, 2019.

Click here to Accept – but what are we Unknowingly Giving Away?

  • Digital Health

Do you regularly fill out quizzes or subscribe to apps that track and collect details about your health or wellness habits? If so, you’ve likely clicked “agree” without actually reading what you are agreeing to — and you are not alone.

Patients Need Access to their Health Information

  • Digital Health

I’ve been a practising physician for 10 years and, as a clinician, I’ve always understood the importance of giving patients access to their health information. A recent experience helped me see things from the patient’s point of view, making me even more convinced that we have to break down the barriers that block access.