Help shape digital health awareness week
By Shelagh Maloney, Vice President, Communications, Canada Health Infoway
Throughout the year, organizations use awareness days, weeks and months to commemorate and draw public attention to hundreds of issues and causes. Last year, 18 supporting organizations, including #hcsmca and Canada Health Infoway (@Infoway), hosted Canada’s first digital health week in November.
This initial effort testing community and public support was met with such resounding interest that we are looking to grow our plans this year. On this week’s #hcsmca chat we’d like to brainstorm how we can make Digital Health Week 2015 (November 16-22) stand out and be meaningful for Canadians. But first, some facts.
Public opinion survey data shows[i]:
- Nearly all Canadians (93%) continue to support the development of electronic health records (EHRs).
- Almost half of Canadians (48%) believe that without EHRs, the quality of health care in Canada will deteriorate over time; this has increased by 9 percentage points since 2012.
- Canadians are consistent across the country and across demographics in their support for consumer-facing technologies such as:
- View electronic health records (92%)
- View lab results online (90%)
- View medications/prescriptions online (89%)
- Request e-prescriptions (89%)
- e-Book appointments (89%)
- Top three perceived benefits of digital health:
- Makes accessing health care services easier and more convenient – 76% agree
- Makes interacting with multiple health care providers better and easier – 76% agree
- Makes the health care system more efficient – 74% agree
Understanding the habits and behaviours of Canadians in accessing and posting health information online helps us think about how we can reach them in a meaningful way through our awareness activities. In a survey of Canadians[ii], the findings showed:
- Nearly half have actively looked for health information online.
- The most common places to look are search engines such as Google, WebMD, Wikipedia and disease specific websites.
- Half of those surveyed have used/followed health information they found online.
- 13% have shared personal health info online, mostly on Facebook, or patient community sites.
- One-quarter report using health apps.
Let’s crowdsource ideas to help shape Digital Health Week 2015. On June 17, I look forward to discussing with #HCSMCA your thoughts on:
- T1: What do you think should be the goal of digital health week?
- T2: What Call to Action during digital health week would be meaningful to Canadians? To you?
- T3: How do we execute this (channels, messages, and activities)? Working with champions/influencers?
[i] 2014, What Canadians Think, Harris Decima Public Opinion Survey
[ii] 2015, What Canadians Think, Ipsos Reid Public Opinion Survey