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The Canadian government, beginning with the province of Alberta, will be allowing patients full access (via the Internet) to their patient records in the Canadian health care system. MyHealthAlberta, the first in a series of expected rollouts for electronic medical records (EMR) access, will open to the public later this year. The $33 million initiative is a personal health portal (PHP) access system for Canadians in the national healthcare system.

Patients will be able to both allow access to information, including personal health records (PHRs), information about wait times for specialists, and allow patients to input some personal health information as well. It is being designed to allow better access and information sharing between patients and physicians.

The first phase of MyHealthAlberta went online earlier this month and will see five phases of development. The site currently offers general health information on a variety of topics that have been vetted and approved by physicians in Canada. Wait time information is currently appearing as well, with more and more providers and clinics being included daily.

The next phase, which allows patient access to personal health records, will go online late this year or early next, according to Health Canada officials.

From the perspective of someone in the business of providing personal health records (PHR) to people privately, it’s interested for me to see how a government goes about doing this on a massive scale. It’s still too early to tell, but the level of access afforded to patients will likely be empowering compared to the almost total non-access they enjoy now. With time, however, I think the relatively limited access the Canadian system will give is going to begin to get on people’s nerves. After all, a big part of PHR access is empowerment and if you can’t do much with your own records, you don’t really have much power over them.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep an eye on how the American version of health care access does. It’s doubtful that the U.S. will see a government-sponsored PHR system anytime soon (if at all).


  • By Kevin Hauser Submitted on June 1st, 2011

One Response to “Canadians To Get Access to EMRs”

  1. Rona Skaff says:

    bad health means no colours of life.

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