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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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#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!

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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!

The iamsick.ca Spring Roadshow

We have left winter and planted our feet firmly into spring. With the new season comes a new round of conferences and industry events. This year, iamsick.ca will be going to six from the end of April to the beginning of June. Are you going to any?

Spring Roadshow

April 27 – 28, 2015: OCE Discovery 2015

iamsick.ca will be joining 2600 of the best and brightest at Ontario Centres for Excellence’s Discovery conference next week. OCE Discovery is “Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference.” Hundreds of exhibitors will be present to showcase the latest and greatest in innovation, research and technology. Word has it that a Youtube co-founder will be there!

OCE Discovery will be held at the Metro Convention Centre in downtown Toronto.

April 30, 2015: AppsForHealth 2015

Focusing on digital health, AppsForHealth is where attendees and network with leaders in the industry. Many students and professionals attend this event. This year’s two keynotes will be looking at privacy and the future of wearables.

AppsForHealth will be held at Mohawk College in Hamilton.

May 1 – 2, 2015: UTIHI QuIPS Conference 2015 

QuIPS is organized by the University of Toronto Chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School. The focus of this conference is to look at quality improvement and patient safety. This year’s theme is Efficiency. We look forward to chatting about how iamsick.ca can help improve healthcare process and efficiency and patient satisfaction.

QuIPS will be held at the Li Ka Shing Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, in downtown Toronto.

May 6 – 9, 2015: PRI-MED Primary Care Today 2015

An annual event, PRI-MED Primary Care Today is the largest Canadian CME/CE focusing on primary care. The conference includes series of workshops, keynotes and an exhibition floor. Thousands of family/general practitioners, pharmacists and nurse practitioners will be present.

PRI-MD Primary Care Today will be held in Mississauga.

May 7, 2015: HealthKick 2015

You may have heard already that we are a finalist at this year’s HealthKick event. The invitation-only event is where we will pitch our company to investors and other industry leaders for a chance to win this year’s pitch competition. We’ve been working hard at preparing for this!

HealthKick will be held at MaRS, in the Discovery District.

May 31 – June 2: e-Health Conference 2015

Last but definitely not least, we will be at the e-Health Conference at the end of May. The conference will showcase the latest in e-health, and is the premiere e-health event in Canada. We will be at a booth by the hackathon.

e-Health Conference will be held at the Metro Convention Centre in downtown Toronto.

Are you going to any of these events? Let us down below! We hope to see you there.

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Presenting New Features at Primary Care Day

iamsick.ca will be at the second Annual Primary Care Day this Friday, March 27, 2015. The event is presented by the Mississauga Halton LHIN and MIssissauga Halton Primary Care Network. Primary care providers will have an opportunity to chat with our co-founder, Ryan, and the rest of our team about our platform.

Mississauga Halton Health Integration Network  LHIN

In late 2014, we started working together with Mississauga Halton LHIN to bring patients better access to timely and appropriate care. A core element of our platform is helping patients see relevant information. We believe that will help them find the right care at the right now. We have been working hard with MH LHIN prepare features that will help patients and health care providers in the Mississauga-Halton region.

On Friday, primary care providers will have the opportunity to explore our platform. Here’s a sneak peak of three features we have built for this project:

1. Provider Accounts

Health care providers will be able to use iamsick.ca to update any facility information, including holiday hours, after hours, and any contact information that is included in our system. This feature was designed with flexibility and convenience in mind. It is important to us that health care providers can easily update their patients with the most up-to-date and accurate information.

2. Holiday Hours

Each healthcare facility’s holiday hours will be prominently displayed. We understand there are challenges around holiday surges. These challenges can burden hospital emergency departments, while patients risk not receiving appropriate and timely care. With this feature, we hope to address these challenges. Patients will be able to view holiday hours and visit the appropriate care provider for their medical needs over holidays.

3. After Hours Information 

Similar to our Holiday Hours feature, we are also displaying after hours recommendations for primary care clinics. We know that each care provider wants to make sure that patients are receiving the best care. This means providing patients with the right after hours information, in the event they may require medical attention outside of regular business hours.

We look forward to presenting our new features on Friday at the Primary Care Day conference. Attendees will be able to try out these new features, provide feedback, and learn about how to use iamsick.ca to enhance their practice.