Alberta residents will now have access to many of their own files medical records online through a new Alberta government program called MyHealth Records.
The records are available to Alberta residents through any computer, tablet or Smartphone. Residents are able to look up records such as medications dispensed through a pharmacist, immunizations, results of common lab tests and will have the ability to print these out and share with health care providers.
Dr. Rithesh Ram sees this as a step forward. “In my mind, it is a long time coming… it is part and parcel of the province-wide Connect Care coming, they always said this would have a patient portal,” he said. “It is a great feature. There are a lot of details in there very specifically related to the patient.”
He says the program also allows patients to be active in their health, such as the ability to keep health journals tracking sleep, mood, weight and fitness goals, upload and track information such as blood pressure or blood glucose monitoring results.
“It is a big step in the province compared to what we had a few weeks ago,” he said.
He explains the information on MyHealth Records comes from the province-wide database called NetCare.
He said it can be helpful for patients going to see the doctor. “I think it is going to be wonderful, but our whole take on wanting patients to be active in their health and wanting to be their own advocate, but I can guarantee there is an entire group of providers who may not like this as much because the patients will see the results and question them and want to get in and see their provider,” said Dr. Ram. “We may know these are not urgent health issues but to the patient, there is no reason they shouldn’t know the inner details of each lab result they might have but there will be some providers who might not want to be ‘bothered’ with having to deal with this.”
He adds there will also be a provider portal coming that may also help support the program.
To sign up or to find out more about MyHealth Records, visit Alberta.ca/MyHealthRecords. A support phone line (1-844-401-4016) is also available to help users sign up and use the service. Users will also have the option to connect with Health Link (811) to speak with a registered nurse should they have any questions about the health information found on MyHealth Records.