Since I’m a pragmatist (yet another -ist in our lengthy “ist list”) I compiled our daughter’s complex medical history—doctor and therapist information, appointment dates, test results and educational assessments in one central and portable location…hence the behemoth medical binder I took with me to every single appointment.
This journey began nearly seven years ago—pre Twitter and when Facebook was still in its infantile “Lisa is feeling….” stage. Fortunately, chat rooms and message boards were readily available and I embraced both eagerly and gratefully.
I was able to connect online with other parents of children with special needs and received support and valuable information.
Mothers with older children reached out to me, a frightened mom of a small child with a fragile future. They held my hand virtually and showed me the way.
Seven years ago if you asked me about an iPhone I’d have said, “I phone who? I phone you later.” My cell was a flip phone held together with tape. Data plans referred to daddy’s weekend golf game, and camera phones, iCloud, digital calendars/reminders belonged in the realm of George Jetson.
But now, in a blink of an eye, we live in a whole new wonderful Wi-Fi world. Things have changed for the better in many ways, but in particular, in how parents of children with medical and developmental challenges manage their kids’ short and long term care.
Canada Health Infoway is a not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Their goal is to bring Canadian health care into the digital age. They are working to make online booking, health apps, electronic health records, renewing prescriptions online, lab results online, etc. commonplace. Hooray!
In order to demonstrate the value of digital tools available to Canadians, Infoway launched Better Health Together to showcase patients’ stories about how digital health has changed their world.
Old World: Lisa hauls her big bulky binder with her everywhere.
New World: Doctor pulls up Avery’s medical history on the office computer.
Old World: Lisa must explain her daughter’s diagnosis to every new specialist or ER doctor.
New World: Doctor refers to Avery’s information online and is quickly brought up to speed.
Old World: Doctor asks Lisa if Avery has ever had an MRI and if so, where and when. Lisa flips through her giant binder in search of the information.
New World: Doctor consults her online record and easily finds the information.
Old World: Lisa brings copies of test results from one doctor to another.
New World: Doctor 1 emails test results to Doctor 2.
Old World: Doctor writes out a prescription.
New World: Doctor prints an EASY TO READ prescription.
Old World: Lisa leaves the doctor’s office, checks her wall calendar at home and then phones to schedule a follow up appointment.
New World: Lisa quickly checks the digital calendar on her phone that is synched via iCloud with her family’s calendars, selects a suitable date and books it. She also sets a digital reminder so she never misses an appointment.
Old World: Lisa updates her Facebook status to, “Lisa is feeling hungry and is making a sandwich.” New World: Lisa learns how to effectively manage her daughter’s medical care via Canada Health Infoway resources on Facebook, Twitter @Infoway, and on You Tube.
Every day, more of Canada’s health care system goes digital. It’s a private, secure and effective way to make health care better, for all of us. Slowly but surely the medical specialists involved in our daughter’s care are getting on board and we’re excited. Goodbye bulky binder! (Though I’ll keep it just in case there’s some kind of Zombie apocalypse and they eat the internet).
Digital health tools and online access to personal health information is improving health care for Canadians. Learn about the tools available to you and your family, and how they can help you manage your health care at www.betterhealthtogether.ca.
Not sure if the tech-route is right for you?
Tech blogger Eileen Fisher tells you all about the online support and apps available to you and how you can use them.
Then, Dr. Kim Foster is going to teach you how digital health tools can change the way you interact with your health care team.
This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Canada Health Infoway #DigitalHealthAndYou sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.