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Electronic health records

CMA activates new Personal Health Record portal

VANCOUVER – Earlier this month, Canadian Medical Association President Dr. Brian Day (pictured) launched the ‘’ health portal, which features a physician-driven, Canadian electronic personal health record platform (PHR), as well as online tools for tracking chronic diseases.

According to the Canadian Medical Association, this health portal builds on existing patient-physician relationships by directly and securely linking patients to their physicians using electronic tools.

The portal, created by Practice Solutions, a CMA company, allows physicians to register their patients with any or all of the online tools the portal offers – asthma tracker, blood pressure tool and weight tracker and a personal health record. The portal also provides secure messaging, ensuring a private channel of communication between patient and doctor.

“This service really shows the role of technological innovation in raising the standards of healthcare delivery in Canada,” said Dr. Brian Day, President of the CMA. “The Health Portal provides a new way for physicians to give each patient the care and attention they deserve while also empowering patients to become active participants in their care.”

Larry Mohr, president and CEO of Practice Solutions, noted at a press conference in Vancouver that promotes an ‘active’ relationship between doctor and patient by using electronic systems. That contrasts with several other PHRs that have recently been proposed in the United States and Canada, which merely offer a warehouse for patients to consolidate their health records and data.

Using, physicians can actively monitor a variety of indicators over time, and can even create alerts. For example, if a patient’s blood pressure goes above or below a certain number, an alert will be sent to them. They can then contact the patient so the problem can be quickly addressed.

According to the CMA, patients enter the secure portal and input health information for their physician to access and monitor. The information is automatically converted into a convenient graph that displays a patient’s results over time.

Scalable to the needs of different practices, physicians can choose the tools they want to deploy, even receiving alerts if a patient’s results fluctuate outside of the prescribed range.

“The Health Portal is truly as innovative and simple to use as it sounds,” said Dr. Timothy Foggin, a family physician in British Columbia. “I use the tools with my patients to stay connected with them and help them take a more active role in managing their chronic conditions. I believe physicians and patients working closely together will create better health outcomes.”

Christine Hampson, President and CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada said, “The goal of asthma self-management is to obtain control of the condition and maintain it over time. To succeed in this approach, there must be collaboration between physician and patient. The Health Portal creates the platform for that essential line of communication, resulting in increased monitoring and ultimately healthier patients.”

In his speech (, Dr. Day added that the CMA’s ongoing ‘More Doctors. More Care.’ campaign is highlighting the use of technology, like the Health Portal, as a key to improving quality healthcare services for patients.

The campaign aims to get healthcare back on the federal political agenda, calling for action to address Canada’s dire physician shortage and increased investment in health information technology to help the healthcare system work better for patients.

About Practice Solutions
Practice Solutions, is the 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. The company also provides consulting services, educational seminars, billing services, lease financing, web portals for physicians. It is also 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 67,000 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.