Government & Policy
Alberta’s patient portal to be complete by April
January 9, 2019
EDMONTON – Alberta’s long-delayed online portal that will allow patients to access their personal health information, including lab results and prescription records, will be up and running before April, says Health Minister Sarah Hoffman (pictured).
The digital portal was slated to be released in the spring of 2017. However, in an interview with the Edmonton Journal, Hoffman said she halted the platform’s rollout in part so the government could make the system responsive to smartphones.
“We’re doing some final engagement with physicians and other healthcare providers,” she said. “I expect that when patients access this … they might even pull it up when they’re in their doctors’ offices or talking to their pharmacist.”
The province blamed the delay on the former Progressive Conservative government, suggesting officials didn’t anticipate how critical smartphone compatibility would be in 2017. The project launched back in 2008, the same year the first Android phone launched, and a year after the first iPhone.
By 2011, the province was ready to launch the first phase of the myhealth.alberta.ca website, which offered general information on thousands of health-related topics.
Former PC health minister Gene Zwozdesky promised that by 2014-15, the site would include new features such as a secure online portal where patients could view blood tests and X-ray scans among other results.
But the project fell behind schedule by early 2015. Ministry officials said the system would be completed by the end of the year.
Further delays ensued following the defeat of the Tories, with the new NDP government first promising to have the platform rolled out in the spring of 2016, then the spring of 2017.
Last year, the health ministry said the portal, which so far has cost $34.3 million, would be available to the public sometime during the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Around 1,200 Albertans, including many with chronic diseases such as diabetes, have been granted early access to the system over the past few years to help test it.