This week, Minister of Health and Wellness Gene Zwozdesky will officially launch MyHealth.Alberta.ca.
MyHealth is a Government of Alberta initiative in partnership with Alberta Health Services. This personal health portal is designed to assist patients in making informed health decisions. It will be promoted in health facilities across the province that provide direct interaction with patients, such as clinics, public health centers, and hospitals.
To access the site, simply enter myhealth.alberta.ca into your browser.
What type of information does the site provide?
Over 8750 health topics and a variety of online tools are available to help Albertans make important decisions about their health. Currently, this is the type of content you can find on the site:
Health A-Z: common health topics, topics by gender, by age and by body part, a symptom checker and other health tools.
Healthy Living: information about fitness and exercise, healthy eating, healthy weight, dealing with stress, travel health, aging well, healthy kids, mental health, and sexual health.
Tests and Treatments guides: why and how the test is done, how to prepare for it, how it feels, potential risks, results, what affects the test, and what to think about.
Medication guides: how and how well they work, why they are used, potential side effects, and important things to keep in mind while using the medication. There is also information on the impact on children.
- Health services: Alberta health professionals, services and program details and locations. (The site links to ACP’s “Find a Pharmacy” service.)
Health Alerts: warnings about potential health issues in Alberta, restaurant inspections, and travel health advisories (information on disease outbreaks around the world).
Decision tools: tools to help make a decision about a treatment option (e.g., should I get an insulin pump?) or care decision (e.g., should I breastfeed my baby?) These tools use both facts and feelings to help individuals make decisions about their health.
Health checkup tools: personal calculators that can help individuals figure out how they’re doing (e.g., healthy weight, at risk for heart attack) and make lifestyle changes.
Where does the information come from?
In 2010, the Healthwise® Canadian knowledgebase was purchased to provide consumer health content for MyHealth. Healthwise® contains comprehensive and evidence-based content.
Before the Healthwise® content was added to MyHealth, it was vetted to ensure that it aligns with the Alberta health system. The MyHealth team invited 150 Alberta health care professionals to review the Healthwise® content and share it with their colleagues. These professionals are considered health practice leaders, and representatives of Alberta Health Services, Alberta Health and Wellness and the clinical community. After reviewing the content, they provided their feedback, which was either added to, or used to revise the site content.
As the MyHealth content, tools and functionality are expanded, Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Health Services will continue to seek feedback from Alberta health professionals. This will make sure that the site is, comprehensive, reflects current medical knowledge, and holds true to health practices in Alberta.
The next major development will be in 2012, allowing individuals to create their own personal health record. Albertans will be able to enter and keep track of information like: immunizations, medications, tests, blood pressure readings, weight, and family health history. Under a secure username and password set up by each individual, information may be stored privately and securely, and will be accessible from any place with internet service.
Over time, MyHealth will evolve into a comprehensive source of health information — making all critical health information and tools available in one place. Instead of navigating a sea of websites, with information that may be commercial or inaccurate, Albertans can turn to a trusted site, with content vetted by Alberta clinicians.