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Blog: Infoway Connects

Learn more about the latest development in digital health, patient stories, new findings and best practices for implementation.

Simplicity, Ubiquity and Affordability Key to Consumer Health Innovation

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Bobby Gheorghiu

Earlier this summer, at e-Health 2016, I had the pleasure of moderating a very interesting and distinguished panel of clinical researchers from British Columbia who described each of their initiatives aimed at providing virtual care for patients with various types of chronic diseases. While the technical solutions that each presented were different, many common threads emerged that should get on the radar of policymakers throughout the country. At the top of the list were these three: simplicity, ubiquity, and affordability.

An Innovative Approach to Improving Immunization Management in Canada

Posted on September 06, 2016 by Beverly Knight and Claudia Brown

Despite investments in jurisdictional immunization registries, data within them remains incomplete. Immunization information exists in silos. As with other areas in health care, the administration of vaccines is complex and handled differently in each province and territory. Although there has been a number of groups that have initiated work to fill gaps in electronic sharing of the data; there has been little to no coordination of effort.

Who has Access to What? Adolescent Access to Personal Health Information

Posted on August 29, 2016 by Joan Roch

A lot of organizations are interested in giving people more access to their health information. They are building portals and apps so people can have that access.

But a question that always arises is: “Should people under the age of majority be able to access portals in the same way as someone over the age of majority?” Currently, the age of majority is 18 years of age in some provinces/territories and 19 in others. This is the age at which an individual attains full rights and responsibilities in society, such as the right to vote and to consume alcohol.

Nova Scotia Online Patient Portal Leading the Way

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Michael Green

By early 2017, Nova Scotia will be the first province in Canada to offer all residents secure online access to their health information.

MyHealthNS is an online tool, or portal, that enables patients and doctors to share information, including routine test results. Once patients have created their secure online health record, they can receive and store test results and specialist reports electronically. They can also log health information, such as blood pressure readings, immunizations, allergies and medications. And, they can view and manage their information on any web-enabled device.

Taking an Important Step towards Medication Safety with e-Prescribing

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Bobbi Reinholdt

There are many factors to be concerned about when it comes to the safe use of prescription medications. For example, 39 per cent of Canadians aged 55+ take four or more medications.And Canada is now the second largest consumer of prescription opioids in the world, according to the Canadian Center for Addiction. So given the current landscape, what are some of the steps we can take for the safer use of prescription medication? One important step is e-prescribing — the secure electronic transmission of a prescription from a prescriber to a patient’s pharmacy.

Five Years of Open Innovation at Infoway: What Motivates a Challenge Participant?

Posted on August 9, 2016 by  Fraser Ratchford

In a previous installment of this blog series, we covered considerations for hosting your own innovation challenge. But to stage an effective challenge, you must understand what will motivate your target audience to participate. After all, their contributions are what will make your challenge successful. To help you understand these motivating factors better, we’ve distilled some of the knowledge we’ve gained by running 10 challenges with over 250 participating teams into the infographic below.

A Conversation about Digital Health

Posted on August 03, 2016 by Michael Green

We chose “A Conversation about Digital Health” as the theme for Infoway’s 2015-2016 Annual Report because we think there has been a significant shift over the past few years in the quality of the conversations between clinicians, and between clinicians and their patients.

Brace yourself — the Net Generation is coming

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Sarah Dinsdale

I had classes on how to type properly with a keyboard before I learnt how to write in cursive. I programmed simple web pages before I knew how to calculate the area of a triangle. And I had spoken with peers on the other side of the world while playing video games online before ever leaving North America.

Five Years of Open Innovation at Infoway: Five Challenge Types to Drive Innovation

Posted on July 5, 2016 by Fraser Ratchford

In a previous post , we discussed the numerous reasons you may benefit from running an open innovation challenge. Now that you have your reasons, it’s time to choose the challenge type that will allow you to encourage the kind of innovation you’re looking for.

e-Visits: A Natural Evolution of the Doctor’s Visit?

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Dr. Rashaad Bhyat

A physician colleague of mine recently reflected on the changing nature of his practice, in the years since he started using an electronic medical record (EMR). He noted that an increasing amount of his work as a primary care physician does not actually require the patient to be in his office.

Five Years of Open Innovation at Infoway: Why Host a Challenge?

Posted on June 14, 2016 by Fraser Ratchford

The optimal solution to a tough problem can be hard to find. That’s a main advantage of open innovation challenges — they bring a larger set of creative minds to bear, yielding more and better answers. This ability has been used to great effect in many of the challenges Canada Health Infoway has hosted as part of the ImagineNation series.

Advancing Computerized Provider Order Entry in Canada with Leading Practice Tools and Resources

Posted on June 7, 2016 by Chad Leaver

Managing how patients receive medications during a hospital stay is a complex inter-professional process involving physician, nursing, pharmacist and administrative staff. In Canada, the various steps for prescribing, communicating the medication order, dispensing, administering and monitoring for drug interactions are still mostly manual and paper-based.

Infoway’s Patient Engagement Framework Helps Us Connect with Patients and Consumers

Posted on May 31, 2016 by Shelagh Maloney

Digital health technologies have the potential to transform the patient experience and improve patient outcomes — but to do so, they need to be designed with the patient in mind. This is why engaging with consumers and patients is a vital part of what we do here at Infoway.

e-Prescribing Facilitates Patient Safety and Better Health Outcomes

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Bobbi Reinholdt

Canadian pharmacists fill 600 million prescriptions each year, and 44 per cent of those are handwritten. That’s a lot of potentially illegible prescriptions and it’s just one reason why it’s time for an e-prescribing solution in Canada.

Ambulatory EMRs Increase Clinic Efficiency, Enabling Clinics to See More Patients

Posted on May 17, 2016 by Chad Leaver

When you visit a specialist at a hospital clinic for the day, you’re probably there because you received a referral from your family doctor. Or, perhaps you are following up from a recent in-hospital stay, or receiving ongoing care or treatment for a health condition. Maybe, like so many Canadians, you’re helping a family member or friend to get to — and from — appointments. Whatever the reason, you know that a visit to the specialist is an important part of supporting your health care needs and contributes critical information to your health care journey.

Five Years of Open Innovation at Infoway: By the Numbers

Posted on May 10, 2016 by Fraser Ratchford

The ImagineNation Challenges series is celebrating a milestone — our 5th anniversary! This year marks five years of sparking innovation and fostering a community of innovators who are passionate about improving health and health care.

EMR, EHR and PHR – and Now aEMR and H/HIS – What’s with These Systems?

Posted on May 4, 2016 by Dennis Giokas

A lot has changed since the initial blog post on this topic five years ago. The nature of the systems supporting clinicians and patients has matured significantly. For example, many now have advanced functionality beyond simple record keeping and some have patient-centred functions. In addition, the scope of these systems now covers a broader user base – one beyond their original users. The description of these digital health solutions has become quite complex, especially when we consider users, care settings, the data, functionality and technology.

Bridging Distances through Telehealth Helps Both Patients and the Health Care System

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Shelagh Maloney

Geography doesn’t have to be a factor anymore in the level of care a patient receives, and that’s good for both patients and the health care system. Take the case of Dr. Dylan Blacquiere, a stroke neurologist in New Brunswick. Using videoconferencing, he is able to provide the same level of expertise and care to his patients in northern New Brunswick as those he sees face to face in Saint John, NB. This helps provide timely interventions, which is great not only for patients but the health care system.

Educating the Next Generation about Digital Health Solutions

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Jessica Visentin and Katherine Steckham

This year, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) welcomed students to join the ever-evolving conversation about leveraging technology to satisfy the increasing demands of the current health care landscape. The inaugural 2016 Student Interprofessional eHealth Award recognizes that students are not only users, but also innovators, of digital health solutions.

Another Positive Performance Evaluation for Infoway

Posted on April 7, 2016 by Michael Green

Just a couple of weeks after learning that the federal government has allocated $50 million over two years to Infoway in its 2016-2017 budget, I’m pleased to say that our commitment to accountability for taxpayers’ funds has been recognized once again. We have received another very positive independent performance evaluation regarding progress under our 2003 funding agreement with the federal government. This follows equally positive evaluations in 2006 and 2011 for this funding agreement. In fact, all performance evaluations and audits required by our funding agreements have been consistently positive.

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