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Taking charge of your own health a must – start by keeping your personal health records

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Personal Health Records – Years ago I wrote about the need to keep a copy of your own personal health records. People should take charge of their own health. Records are about you and your health. It used to be that doctors were reluctant to give chart information to patients. Nurses were not allowed to tell patients their results or talk to them about them until a doctor had done so. How archaic!

More and more we hear about how to be healthy, what food to eat and what to avoid in the latest trends. It is all very confusing but the one thing that is clear are the results of tests done once we feel ill or get older. These measures are not good enough but are a start. At least we can get a baseline from which to expand or make changes to improve. We can only do this if we have the findings and learn how to read them.

What does a high blood sugar mean? What causes it and what can we do to lower it?

What does Hypertension or high blood pressure mean? How can we lower it?

What does high creatinine mean about kidney function? How can we look after our kidneys?

And on and on…….

There has been talk about Electronic health records for years but because health care is a provincial jurisdiction not all provinces approach the subject in the same way. It is amazing to me that they cannot come to some agreement that electronic records are important and the use of technology can make talk a reality. Why come up with so many different solutions and why take so long to do so?

Finally Quebec has come up with a plan.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette announced that Quebecers will soon be able to consult their entire medical files online using a password-protected portal.

The new service will allow patients to access information such as prescription history, blood test results and medical imaging reports.

He said “it would be like having an online bank account for your health.”

This is a great start to taking charge of your own health! It is supposedly available this week. I will be checking it out and continue to follow as it evolves so stay posted. It is called “Carnet Sante Quebec” and will be available on computers, tablets and smart phones. This on line service is to be simple, safe, secure and free.

As of September we will be able to see how much our doctor has billed for each procedure and medical intervention. We really take our health care system for granted and believe that it is free. Knowing how much it costs of our tax dollars is a great step toward understanding our system and realizing that it is not free! For example, an operation will be broken down by cost of surgery, cost of hospitalization,cost of staff for that hospitalization and medications related to that stay.

Eventually we will be able to book an appointment using our portal. To get started we have to request a security code from the RAMQ and then register. I will do this for myself and feel free to call me for information as I test the waters.

Comments, questions are welcome please e-mail

By Donna Byrne – info@mtltimes.ca
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