Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Your medical chart, just a mouse click away

From the Globe and Mail:
With the ease of online banking comes this Canadian first: patients perusing their X-rays, checking laboratory test results and discreetly obtaining a second medical opinion - all from the comforts of their home computers.

Ontario's Privacy Commissioner even keeps her electronic health record, called MyChart, on a memory stick, a device the size of a pack of gum that neatly tucks into a pants pocket.

"Given that I travel extensively, it's very important to have access to my [medical] records at a moment's notice," said Ann Cavoukian, who has undergone neurosurgery three times.

Although MyChart is available only to patients at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, other Canadian hospitals are coming out with their own versions of the paperless health record.

"By 2010, the goal is to have half of the population with an electronic health record," said Richard Alvarez, president and chief executive officer of Canada Health Infoway, an independent, federally funded agency that works with provinces and territories to invest in electronic health-record projects, typically by funding half the cost. By 2016, he wants every Canadian to have one.

The reality today, however, is far different: Only 9 per cent of Canadians have an electronic health record. ...more

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