Skip to content

Help shape digital health awareness week

June 11, 2015

By Shelagh Maloney, Vice President, Communications, Canada Health Infoway

Shelagh Maloney

Shelagh Maloney

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

Reaching Canadians

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.

HCSMCA - Digital Health Week

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

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2015 12:14 pm

    Hi Shelagh! I would love to see the source surveys that are cited here. Could you add the links?


  2. shelagh permalink
    June 11, 2015 5:27 pm

    Hi Robyn
    Thanks for your interest! While I don’t have links to the full research for you, many of the findings can be found in this presentation that I recently gave Look forward to the tweet chat on Wednesday!



  1. Chat 225 Summary: Infoway plans Digital Health Week with #hcsmca | Colleen Young

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: