You probably aren’t going to read this entire blog post.

And that’s totally fine. But here’s a recent example of why you should always read beyond the headlines:

Last week, WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan was quoted out of context. In Swaminathan’s original statement, the warning in regard to mixing COVID-19 vaccines was given to those who are already fully vaccinated and may be deciding for themselves if they need an extra “booster” dose (CBC News, 2021). The media’s representation of Dr. Swaminathan’s statement, however, failed to provide context as headlines along the lines of “WHO Warns Against Mixing and Matching COVID-19 Vaccines” flooded the internet. 

With one thing leading to another, false rumors about mixing and matching vaccines had essentially spread across the globe. What was initially given as a warning, had quickly escalated into a chaotic situation of broken telephone in which Canadians were beginning to doubt their own country’s vaccination strategy—which includes mixing and matching vaccines (CBC News, 2021). In a tweet following the press conference, Dr. Swaminathan clarified that mixing vaccines is completely safe and that public health agencies, not individuals, should make decisions on mixing and matching COVID vaccines, based on available data (Reuters, 2021). 

TLDR: “Context is extremely important.”

According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, if there’s one thing to take away from this situation, it’s to always remember that “context is extremely important.” In his interview with CBC News, Bogoch states that WHO officials “were really referring to people who had already received, for example, a full course of a vaccine series and then were, you know, for lack of a better word, choosing their own adventure and trying to get additional doses of a vaccine” (CBC News, 2021).

References

CBC News. (2021, July 14). What the World Health Organization really said about mixing COVID-19 vaccines | CBC News. CBCnews. https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-vaccine-mixing-and-matching-who-1.6101047.

Reuters. (2021, July 12). WHO warns individuals against mixing and matching COVID vaccines. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/who-warns-against-mixing-matching-covid-vaccines-2021-07-12/?taid=60ec9968fdc7d300011ff877&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A%2BTrending%2BContent&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter.

About the Author

Bairavie Piravakaran (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Toronto Scarborough. As a Psychological & Health Sciences student, she values the importance of sharing credible information and making health resources more accessible to the public. Her interests in population health, research, and design are also reflected in her non-academic pursuits—she currently with the Young Leaders of Public Health and Medicine (YLPHM) as a Social Media Manager for the Scarborough Chapter and is a Health Promotion & Analytics Member at Critical Health Innovations Lab (CHIL). At EMPOWER Health, Bairavie works closely with the Marketing Team in order to plan and execute strategies that help inform the public about current health-related topics.

Is It Safe to Gather With Others During The COVID-19 Pandemic? Use This Tool to Find Out: CovidVisitRisk.com

The Visit Risk Calculator (CovidVisitRisk.com) is a new assessment tool launched by the NIA (National Institute of Ageing) in partnership with the Government of Canada to help Canadians assess the risk-level associated with social gatherings.

Using the best available scientific evidence and the input of leading experts in infectious diseases, public health and epidemiology, the website was developed to help people of different ages and states of health better understand the factors that affect the risk of getting COVID-19 when visiting or gathering with others.

As vaccination programs ramp up across the country, restrictions are slowly loosening. Canadians want more guidance on what fully-vaccinated people can do safely. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says, “We would like to enable people to take themselves through [this] kind of risk assessment while respecting local public health requirements.”

To use the tool, you will be asked a series of questions related to your vaccination and health status, and that of the people you want to gather with, details of the event and what the local infection rates are.

“This tool uses the best available scientific evidence to support people of all ages and states of health to make more informed decisions about gathering with others during the pandemic,” says Dr. Samir Sinha, NIA Director of Health Policy Research. “After working through the questions, people are assigned a risk level in accordance with the gathering they are considering, along with public health advice on how to meet more safely with others.”

Based on your answers, you will get a “risk score” from Low to High, a personalized report to help you understand the level of risk associated with your planned visit or gathering, and tips on how to make your visit or gathering as safe as possible for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The vision behind the tool is to prepare you and your loved ones to better discuss the potential risks and benefits of visiting or gathering with each other and in the end make a well-informed decision on how to make any necessary visits or gatherings as safe as possible.

“These risk assessments depend on your individual risk, who you’re about to get into contact with, as well as the epidemiology of your specific community,” says Dr. Theresa Tam.

As of June 25th 2021, 75% of the population 12 years and older has received at least one dose and 22% is fully vaccinated. However, COVID-19 remains an important public health issue as transmission with new variants of concern continue to circulate. Careful assessment before deciding to visit, gather, or meet with others remains vitally important.

To learn more about the COVID-19 Risk Calculator or to use it for yourself, click here.

Disclosure: EMPOWER Health helped the NIA build the online experience of the risk assessment tool, and provided technical guidance along with testing.  As always, our team is proud of our work with Public Health Organizations to help conquer COVID! Visit us at empower.ca!

References

Rabson, M. (2021, June 22). Risk-assessment tool for fully vaccinated people coming soon, Tam promises. Ctvnews.ca. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/risk-assessment-tool-for-fully-vaccinated-people-coming-soon-tam-promises-1.5481082

The wealthy bird gets the worm: Getting a head start on second doses

With the Delta variant continuing to spread in various parts of Ontario, it is crucial that second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are accessible to those who are most vulnerable. According to recent data however, it appears that those living in wealthier postal codes are moving well with the rate of second doses—even more so than the poorer and more racialized communities that need it the most.

Ontario has identified and targeted the following regions to receive an increased amount of second doses: Toronto, Peel Region, Halton and York Region. 

The independent research organization ICES claims that as of June 7, 2021,

the wealthier postal codes among the targeted regions appear to have an
increased amount of second-dose recipients  (Woodward, 2021). The postal code that led the race at the time was M5P which includes parts of Forest Hill where 17.55 percent of the residents had received their second dose (Woodward, 2021).The area around Jane and Finch, as well as Rexdale had significantly lower numbers, at 4.97 and 4.58 percent respectively (Woodward, 2021).

Dr. David Burt of the Black Scientists’ Task Force on Vaccine Equity states that “many [racialized and other vulnerable community members] are in the service industry, they can’t work from home, they have to take public transit, they have to work in the health-care sector”.

Distribution Solutions

The inequities with the rollout of second doses are no different than the first. In order to create a more balanced distribution, Toronto’s Sprint Strategy is working towards targeting areas of interest. On the other hand, pop-ups such as the ones held by Scarborough Health Network are focused on the population that lives and works in high-risk postal codes (Woodward, 2021).

References

Woodward, J. (2021, June 15). Ontario’s wealthiest zones get head start on second doses, data shows. Toronto. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-s-wealthiest-zones-get-head-start-on-second-doses-data-shows-1.5470688.

Author, Bairavie Piravakaran (she/her)

Bairavie Piravakaran is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Toronto Scarborough. As a Psychological & Health Sciences student, she values the importance of sharing credible information and making health resources more accessible to the public. Her interests in population health, research, and design are also reflected in her non-academic pursuits—she currently volunteers with the Young Leaders of Public Health and Medicine (YLPHM) as a Social Media Manager for the Scarborough Chapter and is a Health Promotion & Analytics Member at Critical Health Innovations Lab (CHIL). At EMPOWER Health, Bairavie works closely with the Marketing Team in order to plan and execute strategies that help inform the public about current health-related topics.

The Impact of Indigenous Mental Health on Healthcare Equity

Healthcare disparities among Indigenous communities are no foreign concept in Canada—these outcomes are deeply rooted in the determinants of health that must be addressed in order to build an equitable health system. 

“Equity” should not be confused with “equality.”  

It is worth noting that equity and equality are two entirely different concepts. While equity tends to rely on the ideology of fairness, equality promotes impartiality. According to Health Quality Ontario, “Health equity allows people to reach their full health potential and receive high-quality care that is fair and appropriate to them and their needs, no matter where they live, what they have or who they are… a high-quality health system recognizes and respects social, cultural and linguistic differences”. By definition, health care equity is a “sub-set of health equity” in which a health system is able to effectively provide equitable health care (Health Quality Ontario, 2019).

Indigenous Mental Health in Canada

The alarming rates of poverty, unemployment, child apprehension, poor education, and public services are all contributing factors to the declining mental health of Indigenous peoples. These communities are challenged with a “disproportionate burden of disparity” that comes with low income and substandard living conditions (Richmond et al., 2016). In a recent report from Statistics Canada, mental health disparities between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in Canada have demonstrated to be directly linked to the intergenerational effects of residential schools, the forced relocation of communities and removal of children from families and communities, and mental health services gaps. The report also claims that the adverse mental health outcomes of the Indigenous have resulted from childhood adversity, trauma, discrimination, as well as social determinants of health such as unemployment, housing, poverty, and food security (Government of Canada, 2020).

Indigenous Mental Health and the Pandemic

According to Statistics Canada, 6 in 10 Indigenous participants report that their mental health has worsened since the onset of physical distancing (Arriagada et al., 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified the mental health concerns of Indigenous communities as the inability to socialize in-person creates unfamiliar and stressful situations. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) also describes how factors such as geographical isolation, high levels of pre-existing health conditions and inadequate housing are associated with a higher risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Understanding the Impact

A 2010 American research study indicates that patient race/ethnicity can influence physician interpretation of patients’ complaints and, ultimately, clinical decision making (Sorkin et al., 2010). Over time, these biases towards certain populations become rooted in healthcare systems and become significantly more difficult to eliminate. As such, it is crucial for healthcare institutions to prioritize Indigenous and other marginalized communities. In an era of healthcare transformation, moving towards a system that is equitable will help improve the quality of health services being provided and ultimately increase sustainability.

References

Arriagada, P., Hahmann, T., & O’Donnell, V. (2020, June 23). Indigenous people and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00035-eng.htm.

Government of Canada, S. C. (2020, April 17). First Nations people, Métis and Inuit and COVID-19: Health and social characteristics. The Daily . https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200417/dq200417b-eng.htm

Health Quality Ontario. (2019). Health Quality Ontario’s Health Equity Plan. http://www.hqontario.ca/portals/0/documents/health-quality/health_equity_plan_report_en.pdf.

Richmond, C. A. M., & Cook, C. (2016, July 20). Creating conditions for Canadian aboriginal health equity: the promise of healthy public policy. Public Health Reviews. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40985-016-0016-5.

Sorkin, D. H., Ngo-Metzger, Q., & De Alba, I. (2010, May). Racial/ethnic discrimination in health care: impact on perceived quality of care. Journal of general internal medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855001/.

Bairavie Piravakaran (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Toronto Scarborough. As a Psychological & Health Sciences student, she values the importance of sharing credible information and making health resources more accessible to the public. Her interests in population health, research, and design are also reflected in her non-academic pursuits—she currently volunteers with the Young Leaders of Public Health and Medicine (YLPHM) as a Social Media Manager for the Scarborough Chapter and is a Health Promotion & Analytics Member at Critical Health Innovations Lab (CHIL). At EMPOWER Health, Bairavie works closely with the Marketing Team in order to plan and execute strategies that help inform the public about current health-related topics.

The Barriers of Immunization

Although Canada’s vaccine distribution numbers seem promising, the inevitable barriers that come with wanting to immunize an entire country are yet to be completely addressed. Some of the most common challenges include lacking technological support and digital literacy, distribution inequities, language barriers, and an overall fear of vaccines that is instilled through misinformation and false news.

COVID-19 is complicated. Booking a vaccine appointment shouldn’t be.  

It is common knowledge that technology has its drawbacks; however, it can be difficult to process how tedious such a “simple” task can become. From long waiting times to constantly refreshing booking sites in hopes of an empty time slot becoming available—not to mention the frustration of having your appointment cancelled and having to go through the process all over again. With ‘tech savvy’ individuals struggling to book appointments on their own, those who are unfamiliar with virtual bookings are left in the dark. 

While pop-up and walk-in sites attempt to resolve this issue, the hesitancy and/or struggle to receive the COVID-19 vaccine continues to persist. 

Fighting the Inequities of Vaccine Distribution

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout as a “scandalous inequity”. According to WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the “small group of countries [including Canada] that make and buy the majority of the world’s vaccines control the fate of the rest of the world” (Nebehay, 2021). In the same interview, Dr. Tedros emphasizes that nobody should assume they are safe as long as the virus continues to exist elsewhere. 

The inequities of vaccine distribution are also prevalent at the provincial level. In Ontario, many of the ‘hot spot’ locations that were initially prioritized demonstrated a “lower-than-average pandemic burden” (Crawley, 2021). In early April, the CBC identified seven other postal codes that experienced a greater impact yet were not categorized as ‘hotspot’ locations. Each of these locations were located in the ridings of oppositional parties (Crawley, 2021). 

Overcoming the Language Barrier

Language barriers have always been a challenge for marginalized communities; living in a COVID-19 hotspot however only amplifies these challenges (Lampa, 2021). With over half of Canada’s Rohingya population residing in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, community leaders have claimed that the past year has been extremely difficult due to the Rohingya-English language barrier (Lampa, 2021). It is nearly impossible for many of the Rohingya to access vaccine resources as they are dependent on translators to help them understand COVID-19 protocols. In spite of the regions’ efforts to help the community by developing a video in the Rohingya language, it is not enough to overcome the divide between the non-english speaking Rohingya and the residents of Waterloo.

An ideal strategy in such scenarios would be to match patients with healthcare providers who either speak the same language or share a similar ethnic background. According to Anderson (2014), providing patients with a sense of familiarity in this context may help alleviate the concerns and questions they may want answered prior to receiving their vaccine.

Addressing Vaccine Conspiracies: Educating Gen Z

In an attempt to target Gen Z, medical worker Steven Ho utilizes his biting humor to address the common myths of the COVID-19 vaccine through TikTok (Pikett, 2021). Through this medium, Ho educates the younger generation in hopes of allowing them to teach their elderly caregivers who may not understand the notion of vaccines in general. In a particular video, Ho compares the COVID-19 vaccine to a birth control pill or a seatbelt—while all three of these entities provide a high degree of protection, Ho explains that there is a fine line between having a high degree of protection and 100% protection. Ho also sheds light on the theory that the COVID-19 vaccines contain tracking microchips and satirically claims that there is no need for a microchip vaccine as our cellular devices have already fulfilled the job.

When all is said and done

Immunization barriers will not go away on their own, and will continue to persist beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, it is crucial that as Canadians we are aware of these barriers to help better understand the needs of marginalized communities as well as the privilege we have of being able to receive a vaccine at all.

References

Anderson, E. L. (2014). Recommended solutions to the barriers to immunization in children and adults. Missouri medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179470/.

Crawley, M. (2021, April 13). Some areas not hard-hit by COVID-19 getting vaccination priority in Ontario, data reveals | CBC News. CBCnews. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid-19-vaccination-postal-code-hot-spots-1.5983155.

Lampa, N. (2021, April 15). ‘We feel like we are on an island’: Cultural, language barriers difficult for Rohingyan population living in COVID-19 hot spots. Kitchener. https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/we-feel-like-we-are-on-an-island-cultural-language-barriers-difficult-for-rohingyan-population-living-in-covid-19-hot-spots-1.5389196.

Nebehay, S. (2021, May 24). ‘Scandalous inequity’: WHO says 75% of vaccines given out in just 10 countries. Global News. https://globalnews.ca/news/7888608/who-covid-vaccine-sharing-inequity/.

Pickett, J. (2021, February 1). Tiktok docs you should be following. stethoscopemagazine.org. http://stethoscopemagazine.org/2021/02/01/tiktok-docs-you-should-be-following/.

Bairavie Piravakaran (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Toronto Scarborough. As a Psychological & Health Sciences student, she values the importance of sharing credible information and making health resources more accessible to the public. Her interests in population health, research, and design are also reflected in her non-academic pursuits—she currently with the Young Leaders of Public Health and Medicine (YLPHM) as a Social Media Manager for the Scarborough Chapter and is a Health Promotion & Analytics Member at Critical Health Innovations Lab (CHIL). At EMPOWER Health, Bairavie works closely with the Marketing Team in order to plan and execute strategies that help inform the public about current health-related topics.

Need a doctor on a Holiday? We got you covered!

Canada Day is just around the corner, which means your go-to clinic might just be closed. Even though everyone across Canada will be busy celebrating, you never know if you’ll need to see your doctor or pick up a prescription from your local pharmacy.

Well, you’re in luck! iamsick.ca’s easy-to-use website or app can quickly help you find the healthcare information you need! This Canada Day, you will be able to effortlessly find the holiday hours for about 90% of various healthcare professionals as soon as you need them!

Sound interesting? Read on to learn about how our healthcare platform works.

Canada-Wide Coverage

When something unexpected happens and you need to see your physician as soon as possible, it’s not always easy to find their holiday hours. With a click of a button, you can use our accurate and complete holiday hour coverage to find what you need, including holiday hours for a wide-range of healthcare services.

Seamless and Integrated Platform

Along with providing holiday hour info, iamsick.ca offers an incredibly useful platform that connects patients to a wide variety of healthcare providers including clinics, pharmacies, community health centre, diagnostic labs, etc. With a simple search option, you can find a physician who speaks your language, who works after hours, who is available on weekends or generally fits your needs.

Online Booking

Once you’ve found the physician or healthcare provider that you need, you can use our flexible online booking system to effortlessly schedule an appointment. You don’t need to wait on hold on the phone to book an appointment anymore. You can also take advantage of the Waiting Room Concierge which will place you in a queue and notify you when it’s almost your turn for your schedule appointment. You can avoid those long and often irritating amounts of time that you would normally have to spend in the waiting room.

We’re continuously expanding our physician holiday hour coverage across Canada, and offer a wide range of convenient filter options so you can find the exact healthcare service you’re looking for! Check out our services here to learn more!

Healthcare Innovation in Canada: 2015 Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation Report

The Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation was created in 2014 to identify areas of growth in Canadian health innovation. Formed by the Canadian Minister of Health, the panel was tasked to:

  1. Identify the five most promising areas of innovation in Canada and internationally that have the potential to sustainably reduce growth in health spending while leading to improvements in the quality and accessibility of care.
  2. Recommend the five ways the federal government could support innovation in the areas identified above.

This year, the panel, led by chair Dr. David Naylor, published Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada. The panel reached out to Canadians and industry representatives, and conducted extensive research in order to best understand the current Canadian healthcare innovation landscape. In the report, the panel identified five critical areas in Canadian healthcare innovation:

  • patient engagement and empowerment
  • health systems integration with workforce modernization
  • technological transformation via digital health and precision medicine
  • better value from procurement, reimbursement and regulation
  • industry as an economic driver and innovation catalyst.

More importantly, the report recommended a new model for encouraging health innovation. Such a model encompasses a wide-angled view of healthcare innovation, rather than a series of small, quick-fixes that do not speak to the overall healthcare innovation landscape. The panel specified two enabling actions:

1. Creating a the Healthcare Innovation Agency of Canada (HIAC)

Should the agency be created, the HIAC will be an arms-length organization supported by the Healthcare Innovation Fund. The agency will support national collaboration across pan-Canadian organizations. In particular,  the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, and the Canada Health Infoway will be included in HIAC.

2. Establishing the Healthcare Innovation Fund

The Healthcare Innovation Fund’s general goals are to “support high-impact initiatives proposed by governments and stakeholders; break down structural barriers to change; and accelerate the spread and scale-up of promising innovations”. Rather than a formulaic allocation of funds, the Healthcare Innovation Fund will be allocated based on transparent specifications, measurable healthcare outcomes, and economic and social value.

iamsick.ca is pleased to see the efforts being made to promote and encourage healthcare innovation in Canada. Improving healthcare outcomes and fostering innovation is at the core of iamsick.ca’s work. In particular, we are encouraged to see the spirit of collaboration and partnership embodied throughout the report. We look forward to seeing new developments and measurable changes as the federal government moves forward with these recommendations.

Sources:

Report of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation, Government of Canada (2015)
Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation, Health Canada
HealthCareCAN talks to Dr. David Naylor, Chair of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation, HealthCareCAN (2015)

The Value of e-Booking: Study

No-shows, or missed appointments, are a costly and unfortunate reality for many healthcare providers in Canada.  In 2014, 90% of surveyed Canadians expressed a desire for online appointment booking, yet only 7% of Canadian family physicians offered it.  This falls far below the 66% of Swedish physicians and 30% of American physicians who offer online appointment requests (2012).

shutterstock_230084251

The Study

The Canada Health Infoway 2012-2013 study investigated the impact of e-booking at six private medical practices in Canada over a two-year period.  The objectives of the study were to:

  1. Measure adoption
  2. Evaluate patient perceptions
  3. Assess the effect on number of no-shows

The Results

  1. The number of online bookings increased by 32%.  The number of users/registrants also increased.
  2. Patients perceived three major benefits: scheduling flexibility, time savings, and automated reminders.
  3. The e-booking system’s automated appointment reminders (via telephone, e-mail or text message) proved to reduce the number of no-shows experienced by each clinic.

Interesting Findings

The study found that an overwhelming majority used the online appointment booking system to book appointments for themselves rather than for a relative.

“Our results show that e-booking systems seem to represent a win-win solution for patients and physicians.”


e-Booking in 2015

In 2015, still fewer than 10% of Canadians can book family physician appointments online.  This number can be improved.

Canada Health Infoway ran an e-Booking Initiative in 2014 to encourage broader use of this digital health solution.  e-Booking offers many potential benefits, including:

  • time savings
  • cost savings
  • improved productivity
  • reduced no-shows
  • improved healthcare access
  • improved patient satisfaction
  • improved staff satisfaction

For more information on the benefits of e-booking and Infoway’s work in promoting the tool across Canada, take a look at our previous blog post.

iamsick.ca’s e-Booking Platform

Canadians are ready for a change, and we’re here to help.  iamsick.ca‘s e-booking platform was designed to integrate with clinic workflows and software.  With complete EMR-integration, appointments booked online can effortlessly appear in your scheduler.  Reduce no-shows, time spent managing phone-calls and improve clinic efficiency with valuable analytics.

ias-Clinic-+-3

If you’re interested in offering e-booking in your clinic or pharmacy, contact us at partners@iamsick.ca for more information.

Original Paper: Adoption, Use, and Impact of E-Booking in Private Medical Practices: Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Two-Year Showcase Project in Canada

Authors: Guy Paré, PhD; Marie-Claude Trudel, PhD; Pascal Forget, PhD

Additional Sources: Patient e-booking: Practice perspectives on the benefits, challenges and lessons learned by Canada Health Infoway 2015

The need to e-Book

Digital health solutions provide us with numerous benefits.

Recently, Canada Health Infoway explored how digital health solutions can improve healthcare, including e-visits and the ability to view test results online. What’s most interesting to us is their take on e-booking, and the benefits that it offers to patients and healthcare providers.

According to their white paper published in 2014, Infoway found that e-booking was ranked as one of the top three most useful consumer health products.  Some of the potential benefits of e-booking include:

  1. Time and cost savings
  2. Reduced no shows
  3. Improved healthcare access
  4. Improved patient satisfaction
  5. Improved staff satisfaction.

Simply put, using e-booking can help clinicians run a more efficient practice. More importantly, e-booking allows patients to take control of their health by giving them tools to connect with healthcare providers, when and where they need it.

iamsick.ca’s e-Booking Platform

Most clinic software, referred to as electronic medical record (EMR) software, do not offer the ability for patients to book appointments online.  That’s why we designed and built an e-booking platform that can integrate with existing clinic software.  In the future, if EMR software companies offer their own e-boking service, our system can complement their service to offer patients choice and additional functionality; like our virtual waiting room, healthcare system wayfinding, and other services that we’re building.

iamsick.ca offers three different types of e-booking services:

The first is our integrated e-booking platform. This platform integrates with existing scheduling module of EMR software to create a seamless workflow. Appointments made on iamsick.ca will automatically sync with the clinic’s calendar.

The second service is a stand-alone e-booking service that lets patients book appointments online without EMR software integration.

The third service is an appointment e-request service that lets patients request appointments online, and allows for a level of interaction between the patient and clinic staff to help find the best time for an appointment.

Are you a patient who is itching to booking appointments online?  If you have a doctor who doesn’t yet offer e-booking, please visit book.iamsick.ca and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to let us know your doctor’s contact information. We will follow-up with your doctor to let them know about the benefits of iamsick.ca e-booking at their clinic.

If don’t have a family doctor and want to book appointments online, you can also use iamsick.ca to search for family doctors accepting new patients.  And, some of these family doctors, as well as some primary care walk-in clinics, accept online appointment booking using iamsick.ca.

Are you a healthcare provider who wants to improve the patient experience in your clinic? Contact partners[at]iamsick.ca to schedule a demo and learn more about how the iamsick.ca e-booking platform can help you.

booking-twitter

#HealthKick2015 – We are ready!

It has been 10 weeks since we were announced as finalists at this year’s MaRS HealthKick 2015 Showcase.

Since then, our co-founder and president, Ryan Doherty, has been hard at work with our team and advisors to create the perfect pitch. The showcase is tomorrow, and we’re more ready than ever!

IMG_1740

What should you expect?

We are a young, up-and-coming startup that is ready to take on the challenge of helping patients navigate the healthcare system. Ryan’s vision to connect patients with appropriate care drives the team to improve our platform and find new ways to help Canadians to maneuver across the confusing healthcare landscape.  Recently, we’ve even started exploring features that will improve the delivery of healthcare – from our virtual waiting room to same-day/same-week advanced access.

At HealthKick, we are seeking angel round investments. If successful, the investments and opportunities will help us grow and spread the platform across different disciplines, and across Canada.

We are looking forward to see you at HealthKicks 2015. Good luck to our fellow finalists!