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Shaping Health Care’s Digital Future

Shaping Health Care’s Digital Future: Queen’s partners on report about transforming Canadian system

Public Policy Forum (PPF), in partnership with Queen’s University, has released a report highlighting key recommendations for transitioning to an equitable, efficient, and innovative digital health care model in Canada.

The report, Canadian Health Care's Digital Future: Voices of Key Leaders, highlights insights from health care leaders and stakeholders from across the country.

"As Canada advances its course in the digital health space, taking a thoughtful approach to systems, processes and standards is critical," says Queen’s Health Sciences (QHS) Dean Jane Philpott, who acted as an advisor to the project and provides the foreword of the report. “Amid this progress, we must also consider structurally marginalized populations. While these populations face challenges, they also bring enormous strength and are poised to make key contributions. Indigenous leaders, for example, have been front-runners in understanding best practices in health data for a long time, and there is a lot we can learn."

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • A digital experience for care seekers starting from diagnostic test results, prescriptions, consults and referrals
  • Patient ownership and access to protected health information data that is transparent, and which features built in provisions for consent on data sharing
  • The need to address the significant gaps in coverage and disparities in who has access to good care, related to factors including geography, socio-economic status as well as visible minorities and Indigenous communities
  • Improved governance and coordination mechanisms through a new framework between federal/provincial/territorial governments that ensures innovation and new approaches are fostered
  • Carving out roles for clinicians, patients, researchers, and innovators in an expanding the health-care value chain

"The goal of our report is to share what’s possible if Canada’s public and private sectors collaborate to build a cohesive digital health system,” says Usman Mohammad, Policy Lead, Public Policy Forum. "By setting up guidelines and standards, digital technologies would dramatically improve outcomes for patients across the country."

The report stems from two roundtables facilitated by PPF and Queen's University earlier in 2022, which included QHS faculty alongside digital health experts from government, policy, health care, academia, and the private sector.

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