EMRs: Access to your health information when, where and how you want it

Doctor with tablet computerImagine having access to your medical history, anytime, anywhere and on any device.  The concept of anywhere anytime has evolved significantly over the past several years driving an “on demand” culture who expect access to information at their fingertips – when they want it, where they want it and on their terms. According to a recent study by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, one quarter of cell phone users in Canada access health and wellness, fitness, or nutritional tools through their device. This concept, however, has eluded the Canadian health care system, still ridden with paper-based health records and patient information.  In fact, the concept of having access to an electronic health record is quite achievable and has already been proven in several countries around the globe.

Further to that, electronic medical records (EMRs) have evolved significantly. It’s much more than moving from paper to electronic records.  Today’s EMRs have the potential to seamlessly connect physicians with patients and other health care providers and have become an important tool for physicians to improve health outcomes for patients.  By using EMRs, physicians can easily take their model of service care to the next level by providing patients with secure access to vital health information, giving them the ability to view upcoming appointments, view current conditions, medications, allergies, vaccination history and more. And the best part? This information can be accessed anytime, anyplace and on any device.

Here’s the thing – based on a recent international survey released by the Commonwealth Fund in November 2012, Canada has a 56 per cent EMR adoption rate which lags significantly in comparison to other countries that were measured.  European countries such as the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand and the Netherlands are leading the way with adoption rates of 97 per cent or greater.  In addition Australia has an adoption rate of 92 per cent. These countries are experiencing major efficiency gains and increased health outcomes because of this technology. What does this mean? We have a huge opportunity to make a difference in the health of Canadians.

On March 4, TELUS Health acquired the MD Physicians Services Group’s PS Suite EMR software.  Through this acquisition, TELUS Health will reach more than 30 per cent or 9,000 Canadian physicians using EMR’s.  This means that on an annual basis, TELUS Health EMRs will be part of more than 25 million patient encounters in Canada. Check out our video that explains what the growth in EMR means for TELUS Health and Canadians.

We are committed to accelerating the adoption of EMRs and ultimately helping to improve patient care and health outcomes for Canadians.  Through increased adoption of EMRs by physicians and linking primary care to the care continuum, we believe we can eliminate care gaps and strengthen primary care access for all citizens.

Interested in having secure access to your health record? Is your doctor using an EMR? I would strongly encourage you to speak to your physician about EMRs and what they can do for you and your family.