These are some of the frequently asked questions we’ve received from Canadians. Have a question not listed here or addressed on this website? Contact Us.
1. What is Better Health Together?
Better Health Together is a public education campaign funded by Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) that seeks to educate Canadians about digital health. It is supported by a community of governments and leading clinical, consumer and patient organizations that recognize the importance of digital health. Through our research, we became aware that there are aspects of digital health that are not well understood by Canadians while at the same time, they would like to know more. In fact, an Auditor General of Canada report recommended Infoway help ensure Canadians have sufficient information about progress on digital health. Our goal with the public education campaign is to create awareness of how digital health is making a difference and benefiting Canadians today.
2. What is digital health?
Digital health represents the many different ways that technology is facilitating a more connected health care system. As part of a pan-Canadian initiative, a network of systems is being created to securely connect and share health information with authorized care providers. It can provide the tools and information to empower individuals to better understand and manage their health. Some examples of digital health include, accessing test and lab results online, connecting with your doctor through secure videoconference or online messaging and booking appointments online. Read more about what is digital health.
3. Why is digital health important for Canadians?
Digital health tools can help health professionals provide timely, safe and effective care to all Canadians, even those in remote or rural communities. For those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, digital health can make day-to-day monitoring and tracking easier with online tracking or mobile applications. Digital health solutions give care providers the option to send and receive electronic prescriptions and requests for renewals which can reduce handwriting errors, make it easier to check for allergies or drug interactions, and, in some cases, even reduce the need for in-person appointments. Digital health can also provide ready access to test results so duplication of testing can be reduced, saving patient’s time and potentially allowing them to receive treatment sooner. Learn more about the benefits of digital health for you.
4. What is Canada Health Infoway?
Canada Health Infoway is an independent not-for-profit corporation created by the federal government, provinces and territories in 2001, and funded by the Government of Canada. We began the Better Health Together public education campaign to help ensure Canadians are aware of digital health and the benefits to them. Visit Infoway’s website for more information.
5. What digital health services are available in my area?
The availability of digital health services, like accessing your health information online, e-booking, and other tools, depends on where you live and/or where you receive care.
Many digital health programs are overseen by your province and territory. They can provide you with more details. Find your local government program on our list of Better Health Together Supporting Organizations.
Availability is also dependent on how your health care provider has adopted the technology. We’ve provided some questions to help you talk to your provider about how digital health is part of your care.
Of course, there is access to many different digital health tools available to you online. The choice is endless with health apps, websites, and online support groups. We’ve provided some tips to help you select a health app to get you started on incorporating digital health in your health and wellness management today. And if you are a parent, here are some ways you can make your child’s health record digital now.
6. How do I sign up to receive digital health?
The availability of digital health services depends on where you reside. Each province and territory is in the midst planning, developing and implementing their respective programs according to local priorities.
Further, individual health care providers (for example, doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies) may decide how to incorporate digital health solutions in their care. We suggest talking to your health care provider about the options available to you.
7. Should I be worried about privacy breaches?
Privacy and the protection of personal health information are critically important to the delivery of digital health to Canadians and each jurisdiction in Canada ultimately determines how health care is delivered within its boundaries while respecting privacy regulations.
Currently, a series of federal, provincial and territorial privacy laws exist in the jurisdictions across Canada and electronic health records in those jurisdictions would be governed by those laws. As such, any specific questions concerning consent requirements for electronic health records would depend on the jurisdiction in which you reside and should be addressed directly to your provincial or territorial health ministry or department.
There are also considerations you should make when using digital health tools for yourself. For example, we’ve posted five things to think about when selecting a health app which includes important privacy considerations.
8. I am looking for access to my medical record, immunization records and/or access to my lab results. Where can I find it?
Neither the Better Health Together campaign, nor Canada Health Infoway, collect or retain personal health information of any kind. To inquire on how you can access you medical record or other digital health services, we suggest you speak with health care provider or inquire at the places you receive care about what is available to you.
9. Can I email Better Health Together regarding my medical concerns?
No, Better Health Together and Canada Health Infoway do not provide medical advice of any kind.