Giving families the tools to manage their child’s care online

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Becky Quinlan can’t say enough about the benefits of connect2care, Holland Bloorview’s new online tool that gives parents and kids access to their health-care record and the tools to manage their care.

“My son Jack is pretty complex and seen in seven different departments,” Becky explains. “Now I can go online to see a list of all of his appointments and what’s pending, and it keeps me more organized.”

Holland Bloorview, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital is one of the first children’s hospitals in North America to offer an online portal to families and it is one of the most comprehensive in the country.

Kids and families are able to access their Holland Bloorview healthcare information, including visit history, clinical notes, test results and details about upcoming appointments.

“This information belongs in the hands of our clients and families,” says Keith Adamson, Senior Director of Collaborative Practice. “connect2care is years in the making and it speaks to our deep commitment to client and family-centered care and ensuring that families have the information they need to make informed decisions.”

In just four months over 400 clients and families have enrolled.

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Becky loves having Jack’s clinical reports at her fingertips. “Before I’d take a ton of notes at every appointment but now I can access that information in real time. I can also print out reports and take them with me to show other specialists.”

Generously supported by Canada Health Infoway, connect2care was born through a true partnership with families. It was developed based on feedback from parents and kids and is part of a research study at the Bloorview Research Institute to see how it can be improved over time.

Clinicians across the hospital have been documenting electronically for the last few years, making the transition to the online portal a smooth one.

Later this spring Holland Bloorview will launch a series of updates aimed at making it more mobile friendly, adding features that allow clients to request and cancel appointments and message their clinicians online.

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Becky is excited about new features that will be added soon. “In the past when I had a simple question it might result in a couple of weeks of phone tag to get an answer. I’d phone and talk to the nurse, and the nurse has to talk to the doctor, but some of the specialists aren’t at the hospital every day. With two-way messaging I’ll be able to type my question in and wait for a direct response.”

Becky is a family-centred care specialist at Holland Bloorview who is helping to sign families up for the service. “I think it empowers us as patients and families to have our information at our fingertips.”