Doctors and patients in Nova Scotia can now get routine test results and share information through MyHealthNS, a new secure online tool.
Patients of participating physicians receiving results from the QEII Health Sciences Centre, the IWK Health Centre or other facilities in the Halifax, Eastern Shore and West Hants areas will now be able to access this information on their smartphone or other web-enabled devices.
The system will be expanded to all other parts of the province by early 2017, making Nova Scotia the first province in Canada to offer a digital health service option provincewide.
“I commend Nova Scotia and Canada Health Infoway for their work and collaboration on the patient portal,” said Jane Philpott, the federal Minister of Health. “This is not only a step forward in modernizing the health-care system, but it also empowers Canadians by allowing them to access their own patient information as they navigate it. “Our government is pleased to support this work through investments in Canada Health Infoway.”
The initiative was made possible because of federal and provincial collaboration. MyHealthNS represents a total investment of $13.3 million over a three-year implementation period. The Government of Canada, through Canada Health Infoway, invested $10 million, with the province investing $3.3 million. The system is being implemented in partnership with McKesson Canada’s RelayHealth.
“This is about doing things differently. It’s about changing the way we deliver care to give Nova Scotians better access to health care,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “With MyHealthNS we are using modern technology to improve access to doctors and access to care. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
MyHealthNS will allow patients to receive, view and manage their personal health information electronically, making it more convenient, and in some cases saving them a visit to the clinic to get information like normal test results. It will also mean more appointments available to be booked for those who need to see a doctor in person.
Nova Scotians who sign up for MyHealthNS can create their own secure online health record and begin receiving and storing test results and specialist reports electronically. Patients can also enter their own personal health information or that of a dependent, to log blood sugar readings, blood pressure, weight, immunizations, allergies and medications. Once patients have created their online health record through MyHealthNS, they can add, view and manage their personal health information on any web-enabled device.
“I was excited to take part in such an innovative and important step in advancing how we deliver health care in the province,” said Dr. Stewart Cameron. “MyHealthNS gives patients greater control over their own health care, and it’s a tool that I am encouraging my patients to use.”
More than 30 family doctors and 6,000 patients have been using and evaluating MyHealthNS over the last three years during a pilot project. Survey results show 85 per cent of patients involved in the pilot who received a result online said it made a positive difference to them being able to manage their own health. Ninety-eight per cent said they wanted to continue receiving results online and 100 per cent of doctors in the pilot said sharing test results electronically is valuable or extremely valuable to their patients.
To find out more about MyHealthNS, and to register for the service, patients and doctors can visit, http://myhealthns.ca .