The North West LHIN’s Patient Portal endeavours to empower patients and their families to participate directly in the care they are receiving. This tool facilitates secure communication of personal health information between health team members regardless of which organization they work in. It also enables the patient to directly communicate with their care team for things like appointment confirmations, questions and medication refill requests.
Acting as a portable health record, accessible wherever the patient is receiving care, the Patient Portal can contain information such as an up to date medication list, a care plan, health education, lab results or other clinical results. The records can be a place for the patient to self-report information like their weight, blood sugar or blood pressure. This record remains in the possession of the client and can be accessed on smart phone, tablet or computer. The Patient Portal remains available when the patient moves communities, has to travel for employment or even if they are on vacation. Family members and informal care givers can be authorized to communication with the health team and ask questions. Health professionals can “broad cast” messages about upcoming programs or clinic holiday hours.
Initially piloted for use with Health Links patients, this tool is now more broadly available for use by clinicians across Northwestern Ontario. Some of the organizations who are trialling this innovative technology include CCAC, Norwest CHC, Dr. Baboolal – Paediatrician, Manitouwadge FHT (Health Links Program), Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre Diabetes Program.
This project will be evaluated in early 2017 for its potential and proven value to the health system.