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The Perils of Patient Information

July 19, 2017

 

 

 

Govindh speaks with Dr. Kumanan Wilson, an Internal Medicine Physician at Ottawa Hospital, and founder of CanImmunize.  CanImmunize is an app designed to help Canadians manage their immunizations.  To date, the app has been demoed by approximately 175,000 individuals.

 

According to Dr. Wilson, one major area of inefficiency and frustration in medicine occurs when treating new patients; because the individual does not normally carry their medical records with them, health care staff need to hunt down and obtain this information prior to delivering care.  As a result, physicians often end up performing redundant tests and procedures because they do not have ready access to the information required.  This is in part what led to the development of the CanImmunize app, which allows the individual to manage at least a portion of their own medical information.

Medical staff having more ready access to patient information, rather than relying on copying, faxing and couriering medical records back and forth, means huge opportunities to direct energy towards higher value care activities.

 

The app has some surprising benefits and uses; parents and paediatric residents are using the app to prepare for and understand the schedule of immunizations for new children, and the app is also currently being tested as a means to allow parents to report their children’s immunization status directly to schools, eliminating a lot of frustration for both parents and children.

 

Dr. Wilson believes our health care system needs to move towards a situation where we increasingly empower the individual to become the holder of their own medical information.  The CanImmunize app is a step in that direction.

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