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Personal health records

CMA online tool lets patients manage diabetes

MONTREAL – In early June, Canadian Medical Association President Dr. Robert Ouellet launched the first online diabetes tool specifically designed for use by family physicians with chronic disease patients. The Health Portal now allows patients to share important diabetes-related information – such as blood sugar, weight and exercise results – with their doctor in a secure, online environment.

“The new diabetes tool in the Health Portal puts into action the CMA’s vision to empower patients to take more control of their health,” said Dr. Ouellet. “The Portal is a front-line example of how integrating technology with healthcare delivery can improve the health of Canadians.”

As simple as banking online, patients will be able to enter the secure portal and input diabetes-related health information for their physician to access and monitor. Blood sugar readings, intensity and duration of exercise completed and lab results can all be shared between doctor and patient, in an easy-to-read, chart format.

“The Health Portal acts as an extension of the care I provide to my patients,” said Dr. Jay Mercer, a family physician in Ottawa and Medical Director for Practice Solutions, and a current user of the Health Portal. “It helps me stay connected with my patients and lets them play a more active role in managing their own health. With diabetes being such a prevalent condition for Canadians, the new diabetes component is a welcome addition to the portal, and will surely help to improve patient outcomes.”

With over two million Canadians currently dealing with diabetes, the addition of this tool was a logical choice for Practice Solutions, a CMA company, to incorporate into the portal.

“Our goal is to equip physicians with the tools they need to provide the highest possible level of patient care,” said Larry Mohr, president and CEO of Practice Solutions. “And with current research showing how pervasive diabetes is in our country, as well as how electronic health tracking tools can improve patient outcomes, there was no doubt that a diabetes tool was the next area on which we should focus.”

The Health Portal also includes tools to manage asthma, blood pressure and weight, a personal health record, an interactive health library and secure messaging between physician and patient.

For more information about the Health Portal and the diabetes tool, visit for screen shots, a recorded demo, and backgrounders.

Facts about diabetes
• Over two million Canadians have diabetes and that number is expected to reach three million by 2010.

• People with diabetes incur medical costs that are two to three times higher than those without diabetes. A person with diabetes can face direct costs for medication and supplies ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 a year.

• By 2010, it’s estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $15.6 billion a year and that number will rise to $19.2 billion by 2020.

• Online diabetes management programs may lead to improved patient knowledge, engagement and accountability, as well as better communication between patient and doctor.

About the Health Portal
The Health Portal was launched in April 2008 as the first physician-driven Canadian electronic patient health record platform (PHR). It features innovative online tools for tracking chronic diseases. The portal, created by Practice Solutions, a CMA company, allows physicians to register their patients with any or all of the online tools to manage diabetes, asthma, blood pressure and weight. Designed by physicians, the portal also provides a personal health record, interactive health library as well as secure messaging, ensuring a private channel of communication between patient and doctor.

About Practice Solutions
Practice Solutions, is a leading provider of end-to-end technology and practice management solutions for Canadian physicians, which includes its popular PS Suite software bundle that manages billing, scheduling and electronic medical records for a physician’s practice. We are also experts in consulting services, educational seminars, billing services, lease financing, web portals for physicians and the publisher of physician and patient-oriented magazines. Practice Solutions is headquartered in Ottawa and employs more than 160 professionals across the country. About the Canadian Medical Association The Canadian Medical Association is a national, voluntary association that represents over 70,000 physicians across the country. The CMA advocates on behalf of its members and their patients for access to high quality health care. It also provides leadership and guidance to physicians.