TELUS Health
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TELUS Health

July 12, 2016 10:04 ET

UPDATE/Quebecers Ahead of Rest of Canada in Use of Digital Health Technology; Still Craving More Solutions

Study: Quebec has the most active users of digital health technology, but at least 79% report missing out on tech that would take control of their personal health

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - July 12, 2016) -

This document corrects and replaces the press release that was sent today at 8:30 am ET. An animated graphic was added at the end of this press release.

Quebecers can order a pizza, a movie or a taxi online or from an app on their smartphone, but according to a new study conducted by Maru/VCR&C and commissioned by TELUS Health, Canada's largest health IT company, people in Quebec are craving technology solutions that will allow them to better manage their healthcare. Of those surveyed in Quebec, 85 per cent believe digital health technology will lead to better care. Yet just 21 per cent of Quebecers reported using any kind of health-related activity online, leaving 79 per cent of Quebecers wanting digital tools that would allow them to take control of their personal health just as effortlessly as other day-to-day activities.

At least 35 per cent of Quebecers are unaware of services that are already available through electronic methods at medical offices, health clinics or pharmacies in the province. For example, only 21 per cent of Quebecers surveyed have refilled prescriptions online and 35 per cent reported that they didn't even know that it was possible to do so, even though this service is offered through many pharmacies in the province. However, Quebec is still the top region in Canada for online prescription refills, with Ontario and Atlantic Canada tied at second at 15 per cent.

"Technology is already changing how doctors care for and treat their patients," says Dr. Robert Pontbriand from the Centre de médecine sportive de Laval. "Today I can review a patient's medical file from a secure mobile app on my smartphone or a tablet anytime and anywhere. I'm now able to devote more time to delivering high-quality care to my patients."

More from the TELUS Health Digital Life survey

• Quebecers surveyed ranked personal banking (70 per cent) and social media (52 per cent) among the most important things they do online, while half the province (51 per cent) ranked access to personal medical records as one of their top online activities.

• Of those surveyed, 81 per cent of Quebecers agreed that health information should be shared digitally between doctors and pharmacists, and 75 per cent of respondents agree that electronic prescriptions would limit the number of medical errors.

• More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of Quebecers surveyed believe that electronic medical records (EMRs) improve communication between doctors and their patients. An EMR replaces the paper charts doctors keep with a digital file to track all of a patient's medical history, lab results and prescriptions in one place.

• Quebecers' attitudes towards EMRs are overwhelmingly positive, though 58 per cent of respondents couldn't say if their family doctor used one. According to a 2015 Canadian Institute for Health Information study, 60 per cent of the province's primary care physicians use EMRs.

• The majority of Quebec residents surveyed agree that EMRs provide accurate information to doctors about their patients (82 per cent), help doctors diagnose patients more effectively and more efficiently (80 per cent) and allow for safe and secure sharing of medical information with patients, pharmacists, other doctors and specialists (76 per cent).

The future of healthcare

"Our health is our most prized possession, and Canadians may not realize that by embracing technology we can all better manage our health and the health of our loved ones," said Helene Chartier, Vice President, Go-to-Market, Strategy and Enablement, TELUS Health. "Whether it's to refill your prescription online or to get an alert when your child's medication runs low, we all need to ask our doctors how we can do more to technology to help understand our health. The more we use digital tools to manage and share relevant health information with our doctors, the more ubiquitous this technology will become in our everyday lives and transform the way Canadians receive care."

The TELUS Health Digital Life survey was in field from May 30 to June 3, 2016. The collected responses are balanced such that the results will be representative of Canada by region and age. Results are reported with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

About TELUS Health

TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.

An animated graphic is downloadable at the following link: https://edelmanftp.box.com/s/ltqyhhpak9myyf2uj1pfp2i7d1udcoxj

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