A few weeks ago, the Government of Ontario released a follow-up to the 2012 Action Plan for Health Care. The new plan, called Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, built on the foundation that was laid down in 2012. The plan introduced four key objectives:
- Access – Provide Ontarians with better access to the right care
- Connect – Coordinate services so that Ontarians can receive integrated care within their community
- Inform – Inform Ontarians through education, information and transparency so they can make the best health decisions
- Protect – Ensure that our health system is sustainable by making evidence-based decisions
What does this mean for iamsick.ca?
In December, iamsick.ca partnered with the Mississauga-Halton LHIN to help with their Holiday Hours / Emergency Department Surge strategy. Over the winter holiday, iamsick.ca collected clinic & pharmacy holiday hours throughout the region and posted it online. Doctors were also able to update their hours in real time (one doctor even updated his hours on Christmas Day!). This meant that patients looking for their their doctor’s office hours were able to easily get the most up-to-date and accurate information.
At the core of this initiative are the very key objectives as defined in the Action Plan. Every year, health administrators prepare for the “holiday surge”. This is when emergency rooms across the region experience a higher than normal number of visits; which commonly coincides with the holiday season. However, it isn’t limited to just the holiday season – surges happen throughout the year. Surges not only mean that Canadians may not be getting the best access to care, it also means that a huge burden is placed on the system.
With iamsick.ca, Ontarians in the Mississauga-Halton LHIN region are able to get the most accurate, relevant and up-to-date healthcare service hours through our website and smartphone apps. These benefits are helpful for patients and the healthcare system year-round, so our partnership has become a year-long partnership. You will soon hear more about how that year-long initiative will look.
In addition to our LHIN partnership, we are also working on expanding our e-booking system to more clinics and pharmacies. This will ultimately help more Canadians navigate the healthcare system… and, this too supports the objectives of Ontario’s Action Plan.
What does this mean for you and me?
Everyone at iamsick.ca is a patient too. This new Action Plan means that we can expect improvements in how we interact with our care teams and community healthcare providers. It is important that everyone – you, me, our friends and family – can navigate the complexity of a healthcare system. This means iamsick.ca will always have work to do when it comes to creating and improving apps that help accomplish that.
For our healthcare provider friends, we will continue to improve and expand our products to help you streamline your practice. We want to help you improve the patient experience while efficiently delivering care. If you can provide any insight on how we can do that, feel free to connect with us.