From bar codes that ensure patients get the correct medication to clinical decision support tools to hospital information systems, digital health is an integral part of Canadian hospitals. It helps provide authorized staff with timely information about a patient and also supports accurate communication between staff members, as well as with patients and families.
Here are just some of the ways digital health is at work in Canadian hospitals:
- Enabling faster diagnoses. 99 per cent of diagnostic imaging in hospitals is now digital. This enables faster diagnoses and treatment of patients. In fact, these digital health systems have been shown to reduce turnaround time by 30-40 per cent.
- Helping care teams make the right decisions. Computerized order entry and other decision support tools help staff make the right decisions based on up-to-date clinical evidence as well as best practice recommendations, providing better, safer care.
- Improving patient outcomes. Electronic medical records and other digital technologies have the potential to improve patient outcomes by alerting clinicians to preventable drug interactions, and by helping hospitals identify and track infections, medication errors and other adverse events.
- Keeping you connected. Some hospitals offer patient portals or other tools to keep you and your family connected through your care journey with access to information such as lab results and appointment notes.
- Providing critical information during emergencies. Electronic health records can speak for you when you can’t. With provincial/territorial electronic health record systems, your medical information is in the hands of your emergency care team, when and where it matters most.
- Virtual consultations. Telehealth and e-visits enable your care team to consult with specialists regardless of their location or yours, increasing access to care even from some of the most remote communities.