“Consumer digital health solutions, also known as consumer e-services, are designed to improve Canadians’ access to their health information, encourage better communication with health care providers and empower them to be more involved in their care,” explained Michael Green, President and CEO at Infoway. “Consumer health solutions are one of Infoway’s priorities because we know that improving the patient experience improves patient health and will unlock value for the health care system.”
Consumer digital health solutions, whether online or through mobile devices, include: e-booking, which enables Canadians to book and manage their appointments online; e-visits which provide the ability to consult healthcare providers via secure email/messaging or videoconference; e-prescription renewal or refill which gives the ability to request a medication renewal or a refill online; and e-views which provide access to a patient’s health record including clinical information such as laboratory test results.
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) report, Feeling Better? Improving patient experience in hospital, organizations with strong emphasis on providing high-quality patient experience have found that it is linked to better health outcomes and improved productivity and efficiency, which has been demonstrated in a number of Infoway projects.
Benefits for Canadians
- Patients or caregivers who had access to their heath information through a patient portal felt:
- that knowledge of their health increased (78-94 per cent)1,2
- more confident managing their health (78-95 per cent)1,3
- the tools helped them feel more involved in their health care (77 per cent)2
- that access to their health information allowed them to have more informed discussions with their doctor (93 per cent)1
- make better use of their time with clinicians (83 per cent)1
- Improve the relationships between patients and their health care providers 1,2,9
- Save travel time by seeing a doctor virtually (e-visits) (98 per cent)8
- Avoid work absences through e-visits (87 per cent)8
- Patients were more likely to renew/refill prescription on time by requesting renewal/refill through a secure online system (78 per cent)9
Benefits for Clinicians & the Health System
- Clinicians reported an improvement in their therapeutic relationships with patients (60 -75 per cent)4, 9
- Clinic/Clinician productivity value
- Decrease in clinic call volume (73-90 per cent)1,6
- Reduce requests for health information or health history information (61 per cent)5
- Decrease in no-show appointments (43 per cent)7
Canada Health Infoway continues to focus on investing in consumer digital health solutions that empower patients to better manage their health and improve access, communication, and collaboration between patients and their health care team.
About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government.
1 Impacts of Direct Patient Access to Laboratory Results – Final Report
2 Nova Scotia Personal Health Record Demonstration Project - Benefits Evaluation Report
3 Epic EHR Program: MyChart Consumer Health Solutions Benefits Evaluation Report (Pilot)
4 Holland Bloorview: Connect2care Benefits Evaluation – Results and Final Report
5 Ontario Shores’ HealthCheck Patient Portal Benefits Evaluation Report
6 Group Health Centre: myCARE Benefits Evaluation and Final Report
7 Adoption, Use and Effects of an e-appointment System: Results of a Quebec Showcase Project
8 Virtual Visits in British Columbia: 2015 Patient Survey and Physician Interview Study
9 Health Quality Innovation Collaboration (HQIC): miDASH, Consumer Health Solution Benefits Evaluation