Government is investing more than $4 million to support family doctors to communicate with patients by telephone and through e-health services.
“This new technology incentive will encourage more doctors to use these tools, and give patients more access and control over their own care,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey.
Family doctors who take part in the technology incentive pilot program can receive up to $12,000 a year to communicate with their patients by telephone or through MyHealthNS.
MyHealthNS is the province’s secure online tool that allows doctors to share test results and communicate with patients electronically.
Family doctors are being invited to join the pilot and will receive an information package this week.
To qualify, doctors must:
— use MyHealthNS and encourage their patients to enroll
— respond to eMessages online or by phone
— use eResults to share test results with patients
— participate in the pilot evaluation
Details and eligibility criteria for the incentive were developed by a working group of family doctors from across the province.
“MyHealthNS is a powerful tool that can get patients more engaged in their own health care,” said MyHealthNS physician advisor Dr. Stewart Cameron. “This pilot is a positive step to compensate physicians so they and their patients can take advantage of the benefits of this innovation.”
Family doctors and patients will be surveyed to evaluate the benefits of being able to communicate with each other electronically.
“This is good news for Nova Scotians and for the family doctors who care for them,” said Doctors Nova Scotia president Dr. Tim Holland. “Supporting doctors to use technology will make it more convenient for patients to receive information electronically or by telephone while improving access for those who really need face-to-face care.”
The technology incentive is part of a $39.6 million investment in family doctors announced by government and Doctors Nova Scotia earlier this year. The package includes increased compensation and other incentives to help connect more Nova Scotians to a family practice.