Heather T.

How does digital health support patients/caregivers to become more active participants in their health care?

Hugely!!! As a patient in the healthcare system the most frustrating part is not having my information available and up to date to share with new members of my healthcare team. By having access to this allows me to be an active part of my healthcare team and contribute in a meaningful way. If we can access we can then understand our health better. Really collaborate with our healthcare team to get optimal health experience. That is positive and most importantly safer.

Share an experience where digital health had an impact, or could have had an impact, on you as a patient, caregiver or family member.

I have been a patient in the healthcare system for 30 years. Often having to repeat my story many many times. In the early days I created a binder of my information, discharge summaries, test results and other many important healthcare information. This book helped me many times in emergency situations. But the book got too heavy. So I moved all this information to a memory stick. This allows me faster and more confidential information sharing. EHR will be my next step.

The theme of the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference is “A Conversation About Digital Health”. How do you believe you can contribute to the conversation?

I can share my stories as a patient in the healthcare system for 30 years. Who has been waiting for the day when I can really be a partner in my care. The times not having or waiting for information to become available will be a distant memory. My care becomes safer and more inclusive with having digital info available for me as well. I am a valuable partner in the team and want to be part of the conversation. It’s closer than we think and why not include the patient in it.

How will you apply and share what you learn from Digital Health Week and the 2016 Infoway Partnership Conference?

Oh so many ways. I am an active member of my health region here in Saskatoon. But also I would share things provincially. I partner with our university Health sciences area and would talk to students about this as well. It is the newer generation of healthcare professionals who will really push hard for this to become a reality. I want to help them see this and would wholeheartedly share with them. As well I am part of a upcoming patient advisors network, what a great place to share your work.