A new online health record is coming — from the same place you get your driver’s licence

A screen shot of a virtual health app.
MyHealthNL will launch on Feb. 1. Access will be given to 5,000 patients with groups of 50,000 more following each month after. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Newfoundland and Labrador is launching a new online service to improve access to the province’s health-care system, with residents able to find out details of their care without having to call a doctor’s office. 

Starting in February, about 5,000 patients over 16 will be able to access their own personal health records through MyGovNL — the same service where people can access motor registration to renew their licence, for example.

MyGovNL — coined MyHealthNL for the health-care aspect — will now give access to laboratory results, dispensed medications, radiology reports and allergies. 

In addition, residents can also access mental health and health information resources.

An active MCP card is required, along with a valid driver’s licence or ID from the Motor Registration Division. 

“Starting in the spring, we anticipate another 50,000 people will be added each month,” Health Minister Tom Osborne told reporters on Wednesday, adding about 300,000 people already use MyGovNL. 

“The new service will help reduce administrative burdens for physicians and primary care providers by allowing residents to receive their health information through the app.”

Residents will also have the option to allow family members to access the service.

An app is being developed with an anticipated launch this spring.

WATCH Here’s what the new online health record will mean for patients: 

New online health record means you can get health test results — and track your meds

Starting Feb. 1, people who have a MyGovNL account can get healthcare information online. Making test results and prescribed medication information available will help alleviate burdens on doctors and give patients more of a one-stop shop, according to Health Minister Tom Osborne.

Updates to the app will follow, adding additional services such as the ability to schedule medical appointments with Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services. That includes appointments with family care teams and participating physicians.

Osborne said the service has “strong security protocols and safeguards” to protect the health information. 

“Anybody else who doesn’t have the technical ability to log in will also benefit. Because as people log in and are using this, the wait times for those who aren’t able to log in will be shortened as well,” he said. “This will benefit everybody.”

Total costs are about $1.2 million annually for the personal health information aspect. The app is costing about $6 million to develop. 

A man in a grey suit standing in a media room with flags hung in the background.
NDP Leader Jim Dinn says there are some immediate problems with the province’s new online health records service. (Peter Cowan/CBC)

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jim Dinn said he has immediate concerns.

Dinn said the online service sounds like it will only work assuming the patient already has access to a primary health provider.

“That’s the issue here with what we heard,” Dinn said. “It’s still not addressing the human resources piece.”

Dinn also said using the service will be a challenge for those without access to the internet or smartphones. 

“It doesn’t include everyone,” he said. 

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