Government & policy
Alberta moves ahead with public portal
EDMONTON – A new online health tool connecting Albertans to trusted healthcare information and services, other health tools and wellness management tips has been launched.
MyHealthAlberta’s 2011 release is the first phase of the $33 million personal health portal (PHP) initiative. Once complete, the portal will give Albertans secure access to their personal health information through the province’s electronic health record system.
“When it comes to your health, information can be very powerful,” said Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness. “By providing Albertans with access to health information that can help them stay well, we have created a very innovative way to strengthen primary care – one of the key strategies in our five-year Health Action Plan.”
The site covers nearly 9,000 health topics, including information on how to prepare for upcoming medical tests and doctors’ visits, approved treatments and home remedies or tools to help determine if medical care may be needed. The content has been reviewed by a panel of Alberta physicians and other health providers to ensure the information is accurate and relevant.
“Effective primary care involves a team of healthcare providers, and patients themselves are a vital part of that team,” said Dr. Chris Eagle, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services. “This new tool will empower Albertans to be proactive in their health by supporting them to live well, manage their health conditions and care for their families.”
Work is already under way on the next phase of MyHealthAlberta. When completed next year, it will provide secure log-in for individuals who want to track their own personal health data, such as blood pressure readings, insulin levels, weight, immunizations, and much more.
“Millions of Canadians have diabetes, asthma, and other chronic diseases, conditions that are best managed when these individuals are informed, active participants in their healthcare,” said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. “MyHealthAlberta will provide Albertans with reliable information and resources to help manage chronic disease and promote wellness.”
When the initiative is complete in 2015, MyHealthAlberta will provide individual access to Alberta’s electronic health record system, a first for Canada.
Video walk-throughs that will help guide first-time visitors through the many features and tools on myhealth.alberta.ca can be found on the site’s main page.
The new Alberta Wait Times Reporting website was also launched. The website shows wait time information on surgical procedures and diagnostic tests including MRI scans, cancer services and hip and knee replacement surgeries as reported by Alberta specialists and facilities.
The site allows Albertans to search wait times by procedure, by specialist and by facility and will also show wait times trends over the most recent 13-month period for many procedures. Information on the Alberta Wait Times Reporting website is compiled by Alberta Health and Wellness from data submitted by the province’s urban and rural hospitals and diagnostic clinics.
Albertans interested in viewing the latest wait times for surgical and diagnostic procedures can find them at waittimes.alberta.ca. The Alberta government is working to build a better Alberta by fostering economic growth, strengthening our health and education systems, investing in infrastructure, supporting safe and strong communities and ensuring a clean and healthy environment.
Posted May 19, 2011