Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fish Creek Thinks Big on Health

(originally posted on

One of the issues that comes up most frequently at the doors and on the phones as we work through this process is the topic of healthcare.

In particular, people in Calgary-Fish Creek want to know how to improve the care they receive, and they want to know when the South Calgary Health Campus will be an option for their emergency care.

One idea that I really like in order to improve care is the notion of a health "SmartCard", with a chip and PIN. In essense, this card would be used every time you accessed a health service, from a doctor's visit to a trip to the pharmacist. Your test results, diagnoses, notes by your other health care providers, etc would be stored in a secure system, and would only be able to be accessed when you presented your card and entered your secure PIN (just like a bank card). Your practitioner would be able to see the notes from the doctor at the walk-in clinic you visited last week, your pharmacist would see what other medication you were recently perscribed to avoid drug interactions... this would result in fewer missed diagnoses, fewer errors all-around, and give your medical professionals a more full picture. These men and women are exceptionally well-trained, and when they have access to all the information, they can make MUCH better judgements. Of course, some people are really uneasy with the thought of their personal medical information on a computer server - so perhaps the cards would be something you can "opt in" to.

There is, understandably, a lot of concern about the South Calgary Health Campus. It seems, at times, as though we've been waiting 20 years for this new hospital and health campus to open. In the meantime, people in Parkland or Canyon Meadows are deciding to drive to health centres in Okotoks or Black Diamond rather than sit in the Rockyview ER. I will work with Alberta Health and Wellness to communicate to the people of Fish Creek exactly when they can expect the various phases of the new Health Campus to open, and make it very clear that the people of Fish Creek expect the centre to be fully staffed when it does open.

No comments: