Canadian Web Portal To Help Doctors Track Chronic Conditions
Patients can use the secure portal, created by Practice Solutions, to input their health information and track their blood pressure, asthma and weight loss.
Larry Mohr, president and CEO of Practice Solutions, said other tracking tools likely will be added to the portal, including tools targeting diabetes, smoking cessation and mental health. He added that the portal also might expand to include online appointment scheduling and prescription refills, as well as the ability to link a patient’s personal health record to hospitals and regional health systems (Ogilvie, Toronto Star, 4/2).
CMA called the health portal “the first physician-driven Canadian electronic patient health record platform” and said it could serve as a supplement, or sometimes substitute, for office visits (Fayerman, Vancouver Sun, 4/1).
However, experts cautioned that Canada is still a long way away from having a complete electronic health record system.
Walter Wodchis, professor of health care finance at the University of Toronto, said, “This is a small intervention. This is not going to radically change medical care or patients’ health.”
Member physicians will pay $240 annually for the portal and related tools, according to the Star. About 200 Canadian physicians currently are using the portal.
Mohr said it is unclear if or how physicians will bill patients for using the portal because most online services are not yet covered by provincial health plans (Toronto Star, 4/2).
CMA is recommending that physicians charge patients an annual fee of $50 to $100 to subscribe to the online service, as well as a possible additional nominal fee for each online consultation (Vancouver Sun, 4/1).