November 23rd of this year will mark two years since my husband had his heart attack. On that day and in the time since, he has received excellent care and we have a renewed appreciation for our Canadian health care system. We’ve also taken note of the technology used to keep all the professionals he has watching over him informed.
His cardiologist communicates via computer with our family doctor, who in turn prints prescriptions for our pharmacist. Test results from blood work and imaging are sent to both doctors who then communicate with each other for the best course of action. Considering we grew up in an era without computers, where it could take weeks for results to get from one doctor to another and prescriptions were often illegible, we marvel at the efficiency of technology in our health care system today.
This year, he cracked a rib on the ski hill being a cowboy, and after living with it a few days he decided to go to emergency to have it looked at. Upon swiping his health card, all his health information came up immediately and he was rushed into a room. Although he was pretty sure it wasn’t his heart, the doctors at emergency weren’t taking any chances and he was hooked up to monitors and having blood tests taken in an instant. He felt a little silly with all the attention. I felt otherwise.
I’m glad that they had instant access to his information because what if it was his heart? Years ago, doctors would have had to rely on what a patient shared with them to make an evaluation, often not getting the whole story.
And all this efficiency benefits us from coast-to-coast. This is particularly comforting in a country as vast as Canada. Miles become less of a barrier when Telehealth care is at your fingertips, especially for those living in remote areas. With less need to travel, a financial burden is relieved for the patient and better care is a teleconference away.
At Better Health Together you can see how technology is improving our health care system in a variety of ways.
It allows people with chronic conditions like diabetes to track and manage their levels from home. By entering in data at home from tests they’ve taken, they can work with their nurse or doctor to make real changes, fast. It provides patients with an amazing accountability for their own health, which is ultimately where the most effective change happens.
Even if you don’t have a chronic condition, you can still benefit from technology by using a health app on your phone to track your own progress when it comes to diet and exercise. You can then share this information with your Doctor at your annual check-up. There are also apps that allow you to track doctors’ appointments, medications and medical locations. You can also keep track of symptoms that you can easily share with you Doctor. For me, this is a brilliant way to not waste my time or my doctor’s at appointments. Especially considering I suffer from a forgetful mind.
Technology is improving our health care every day and you should learn how to make your life and that of your family’s a little bit easier. Go to Better Health Together to learn about all the ways digital health is transforming health care in Canada for the better.
This post was brought to you by Canada Health Infoway, however the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit www.betterhealthtogether.ca.