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New Health Canada panel calls for healthcare system changes to foster innovation

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A major report on promotion of healthcare innovation was recently released by Health Canada’s Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation. The report, Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada, recognized that along with dedicated funding, a reorganization of the current healthcare system is essential for fostering innovation in Canada. Integration of health systems and patient engagement were highlighted as two of five areas that the report calls the federal government to take action on.



New: Virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation Program briefing note

A summary of BCATPR’s Virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation Program (vCRP) is now available on our website. The vCRP mimicked in-hospital cardiac programs but was delivered online over 4 months. Participants saw an improvement in heart disease risk and hospital visits and found the program to be accessible, convenient and effective. It also required less staff time than in-person care. This comes on the heels of another study that finds low attendance ratesin cardiac rehabilitation programs and recommends home-based programs as a possible alternative.



Island Health expands telehealth services with heart failure monitoring tool

Island Health is now offering a Home Health Monitoring service to support people with heart failure. This is a free service that supplies patients with tools to help them monitor heart failure symptoms at home. Measurements are sent via the Internet to a nurse who follows up on any abnormal symptoms. 

Island health has also published a handful of videos to showcase its suite of telehealth programs, including those in cardiacrenal and geriatric care.


Apps that are improving hospital efficiencies

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The BBC recently published a feature on apps that are changing hospital workflows in Europe and the US. One such app allows surgeons to calculate blood loss during an operation, helping them make more informed decisions about patient safety. Other apps improve efficiency and security by allowing doctors to share texts and access records securely via smartphones. Interior Health has replaced pagers with a similar messaging platform,MicroBloggingMD, for inter-staff communication.



LifeLabs is offering patients access to their lab results online

LifeLabs has launched the My Results e-service that makes lab test results available to patients online. This service aims to help patients take control of their health, especially those with chronic conditions who require ongoing health monitoring. A similar program, “my eHealth”, is already in place in British Columbia. LifeLabs hopes to expand the program across the rest of the country.