Nicole Ireland, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 30, 2024 10:08PM EST
When 30-year-old Greg Price had testicular cancer in 2011, his journey through the health-care system was plagued by a lack of communication between primary care doctors and specialists, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment.
Previously healthy and athletic, Price died at age 31 – just over a year after a routine physical to renew his pilot’s licence found that a tube in his testicles known as the epididymis had thickened, which can be a symptom of testicular cancer.
Over the course of that year, Price, who lived in Acme, Alta., had lab tests, saw several doctors at walk-in clinics and was referred to three different urologists but none of them had the full picture of Price’s symptoms.
At one point, a primary care physician faxed a referral to a urologist’s office but the urologist was away so there was no response.
“Greg’s medical history was scattered in bits and pieces across different charts in the places where he had sought treatment,” says a report issued Tuesday by Public Policy Forum, a non-profit group that brings together experts to tackle and advise on significant public issues.
The report cites Price’s experience as a tragic example of out-of-date health records management in Canada and failure to harness digital technology to ensure a patient’s complete health data are available to all members of their care team.
The forum says it is “sounding the alarm about Canada’s chronic, subpar performance on data, the vital currency of a digital-age system.”
The report calls for all health records to be paperless and digitally accessible to all members of a patient’s care team by 2028, noting that a first step