Patient Portals Enable Proactive — Rather Than Reactive — Health Care

By J. Tyler Moss

My experience with eHealth Saskatchewan’s Citizen Health Information Portal (CHIP) began in the spring of 2016. A request went out to residents of Saskatchewan to sign on to the pilot project; I did, and became one of the initial 1,000 participants.

My interest in the project was precipitated by a personal diagnosis years earlier of inborn Renal Artery Stenosis. It had gone undetected for years and, as I aged, I began to present with symptoms which could not be explained through simple or routine tests. My very perceptive physician pushed for answers and soon came up with what is now my current diagnosis. Throughout the process of determining the root of the problem, I saw numerous specialists and I have undergone a diverse range of tests to get to where I am today.

Prior to the inception of CHIP, my medical advocacy was between my physician and myself, and any specialist I saw along the way who requested follow-up. For lab work, medications and appointments, I relied solely on my physician to keep track of who I needed to see and when.

By spring 2016, I was in possession of a valuable tool that I could use to manage some of my own health needs via a digital portal. I now have access to lab test results, prescription and immunization history, medical conditions, hospital visit history, procedures and I can even communicate with my nephrologist through the portal. Suddenly I can be proactive, rather than reactive, to my results as well as my overall well-being.

Throughout my time on CHIP, I have had occasions where I have needed to reference my medical history, either for my primary physician when she moved offices, or for appointments with new specialists who didn’t have any of my medical history. For my primary physician, I simply printed my profile from the portal, and took it with me to my appointment. This created the foundation for my new chart. During appointments with specialists, I was able to access my test results through CHIP during our meeting, which provided them with what they needed and conclusively avoided unnecessary duplication of time and resources already spent to get the same results.

Having access to the patient portal has saved me time and the Saskatoon Health Region time, money and valuable resources which would have otherwise been used repeating tests I previously had done, and taking away from other patients needing care.

The eHealth Saskatchewan Citizen Health Information Portal (CHIP) is a citizen-centric personal health record (PHR) that allows individual participants to view their personal health information and communicate with their provider(s) and schedule appointments. The pilot project is currently expanding enrollment to all Saskatchewan citizens. Learn more about the results of the CHIP Pilot Project.

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About the author
J. Tyler Moss

J. Tyler Moss

J. Tyler Moss is a Co-Primary Investigator on eHealth Engagement/Empowerment and an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. He has received both his Business Administration and Executive Business Administration Certificates through the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan.