It’s 2015, so why can’t I email my doctor yet?

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It’s time for the provincial government to get out of the way of smart, cost-effective communication between doctors and their patients.

At a time when surgeons can perform Internet-enabled operations that make the physical distance between the doctor and the patient immaterial, how is it possible that Nova Scotians can’t simply email their physicians to schedule appointments or renew prescriptions?

For eight years, the co-operative sector (co-ops and credit unions) has been quietly pitching a plan to the province’s health-care bureaucracy that would empower physicians to digitally enhance the administration of their practices to allow them to focus on what they do best: help sick people get better. The effort would, at the same time, give patients greater control and greater responsibility for their own healthcare. The response?

Disinterest and disdain. The promise on new approaches and commitment to supporting innovative ideas served up by Stephen McNeil during the election campaign has not materialized. Yet we remain hopeful.

A decade ago, Nova Scotia took a leading role in the effort to digitize X-rays and CAT scans that provide all partners in patient care timely access to critical images. Today, bureaucrats stubbornly refuse to apply the same kind of advanced thinking to resolving simple administrative tasks that result in crowded waiting rooms, delayed diagnoses, errors from mishandled laboratory results and trips to the doctor’s office that waste patient time and unnecessarily drive up travel-cost reimbursements.

Healthconnex is a patient-centric healthcare portal that connects patients and doctors securely online. Patients are able to connect with their doctors and receive services such as online appointment booking, e-consultations and prescription renewals. An iPhone app, recently approved by Apple, will allow patients to leverage sensors and information within their iPhones and deliver additional medical-related information (like heart rate and activity levels) to the doctor. continua a leggere

Articolo di Dianne Kelderman e David Zitner su The Chronicle Herald

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