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Vol. 11 No. 26, December 17, 2014


Survey: Vast Majority of Quebecers Want Their Health Service Providers to Join the Digital Age
According to a new CROP survey commissioned by TELUS Health and Diabetes Quebec, Quebecers believe that technology-aided health services would provide major benefits and give them the opportunity to play an active role in managing their personal health. The report is part of the 8th Edition of the Quebec City Health Care Industry Forum, “From Innovation to Integration in the Healthcare System: Adopting a Patient Oriented Perspective”, presented by Quebec International.
While Quebecers report that they are relatively satisfied with the health system in terms of personnel and the care they receive, few reported being satisfied with access to care (58%) and system efficiency in general (50%). Results showed that integrating new technologies into the patient-healthcare provider relationship presents opportunities to improve these two crucial components of the healthcare system.
In addition to communicating with their doctor via email, those surveyed also indicated many compelling reasons to connect electronically that include: scheduling appointments online (78%), receiving advice concerning new health problems (68%) and reviewing lab results (67%). Quebecers also said that electronic access would: cut down the number of non-critical emergency room visits (94%), enable a quick response from a health professional (93%), reduce visits to the family doctor (90%) and play an active part in increasing the efficiency of the healthcare system (90%).
Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said they were ready to play a more active role in managing their own health, particularly by adding their monitoring data to their own personal electronic health records. Furthermore, those with chronic disease showed even greater interest (76%).
According to Diabetes Quebec, the poll reflects the desire of Quebecers to interactively communicate with their healthcare team. The CROP poll was conducted online from November 4–10, 2014 with 1,000 Quebecers.


New Protective Ebola Suit Developed at Johns Hopkins University (VIDEO)
Healthcare workers treating Ebola victims are at a great danger of contracting the disease, as recent events in western Africa have shown. Currently available protective suits tend to require complicated procedures when putting on and taking off, are difficult to breathe in, and obscure the clinician’s face. A team at Johns Hopkins has developed, and just won a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to further perfect, a new protective suit for use when treating highly infectious patients.


Canada: David Loukidelis Appointed Privacy Commissioner, Ad Hoc
David Loukidelis, QC, former Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, has been appointed Privacy Commissioner, Ad Hoc, for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). In this role, Mr. Loukidelis is mandated to independently investigate any complaints that may be lodged against the OPC under the Privacy Act. Mr. Loukidelis was British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner from 1999 to 2010 and was British Columbia’s Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Justice from 2010 to 2012. He was also Registrar of Lobbyists for British Columbia from 2003 to 2010. His experience in privacy and freedom of information dates back more than 20 years.
Support New Dr. Kathryn Hannah Nursing Informatics Scholarship
The Canadian nursing informatics community and the Canadian Nurses Foundation are partnering to establish the new Dr. Kathryn J. Hannah Nursing Informatics Scholarship, as a tribute to the health informatics leader and innovator. The annual scholarship, to be awarded to a nurse pursuing graduate studies to continue to advance leadership and innovation in nursing informatics and innovation, will be launched at the Canadian Health Informatics Awards Gala during e-Health 2015 June 2, 2015. Donations are needed for the scholarship; this is an excellent way to honour Kathryn and demonstrate support for nursing informatics. To make a donation, please follow the instructions on the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association (CNIA) website at:
European Commission to Update Its Open Source Policy
The European Commission wants to make it easier for its software developers to submit patches and add new functionalities to open source projects. Contributing to open source communities will be made central to the EC’s new open source policy, expects Pierre Damas, Head of Sector at the Directorate General for IT (DIGIT). Damas and his colleagues aim to remove barriers that hinder code contributions to open source software, he announced yesterday at a conference in Brussels. The Commission wants to clarify legal aspects, including intellectual property rights, copyright and which author or authors to name when submitting code to the upstream repositories.
The EC is already using a lot of open source tools, including for servers, for its web solutions and on the EC desktops.

Training Elderly in Social Media Improves Well-being and Combats Isolation
Training older people in the use of social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence and could have a beneficial overall impact on mental health and well-being, according to a landmark study carried out in the UK. A two-year project funded by the European Union and led by the University of Exeter in partnership with Somerset Care Ltd and Torbay & Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust gave a group of vulnerable older adults a specially-designed computer, broadband connection and training in how to use them. Those who received training became more positive about computers over time, with the participants particularly enjoying connecting with friends and relatives via Skype and email.
Participants in the study were all vulnerable older adults between the ages of 60 and 95 years of age who were receiving support from Somerset Care Ltd. The 76 volunteers were drawn both from those receiving care in the community and those living in any of the not-for-profit organization’s 31 residential care homes. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive training and the other half to a control group who received care as usual.
A European Blueprint for the Deployment of Telemedicine
The Momentum project has released the European telemedicine deployment blueprint to assist "telemedicine doers" introduce healthcare services at distance through information technology. Telemedicine can make healthcare delivery safer, better and more efficient and thus help address challenges to our healthcare systems, but it can disrupt conventional medicine. The blueprint for doers describes 18 critical success factors for telemedicine deployment with detail, context, indicators, and descriptions, including an attachment with case studies. The Momentum blueprint builds on an earlier and shorter version of the 18 critical success factors that was released in May 2014.
The Momentum project convenes telemedicine experts and stakeholders from more than 20 organizations in Europe. The project will end in January 2015, and the focus in the remaining weeks will be on building its legacy. This will include a Momentum self-assessment tool and a process to facilitate telemedicine deployment through stakeholder engagement; a thoroughly updated and revised website (which EHTEL, the project coordinator, is committed to maintain after the project end); and the online Momentum forum on LinkedIn that will continue to host discussions about Momentum themes and the online tool.

HIMSS Analytics Honors Cleveland Clinic Health System with Stage 7 Ambulatory Award
HIMSS Analytics recognized the Cleveland Clinic Health System with its Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. The award represents Cleveland Clinic Health Systems’ attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model™ (EMRAM), which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Today, with more than 1,440 beds at its main campus and more than 4,450 total beds throughout the system, Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest hospitals in the US.


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