Last week, Orion Health was pleased to introduce our new Managing Director for Canada, Susan Anderson. Orion Health is also proud to support Digital Health Week (Nov. 16-22) – a week dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of digital healthcare. In the spirit of raising awareness, Orion Health invites you to learn more about Susan and digital health through this two part Q&A session.

1. Tell us a bit about your background. Could you highlight some of your recent successes?

My career background reflects my desire for new challenges and change. My early career path was in software development and process automation, where I had the opportunity to apply my mathematics skills in addressing simple to complex process solutions in oil and gas, chemical, manufacturing and aerospace businesses. My 'second' career began with the transition of my automation knowledge and experience to healthcare, which can now to be applied to people, processes and solutions. I'm proud to have played a role in the expansion of Alberta's Digital Health envelope, our accelerated program for the adoption and expansion of data accessible by electronic health record portal. Our work also included the creation of a consumer health strategy and the implementation of a public portal accessible across the entire province.

2. What drew you to Orion Health and what are you looking forward to working on?

As a result of my work in Alberta's government over the last seven years, I was directly engaged with Orion Health as a Strategic Partner for our provincial digital health program. Over time, I had the opportunity to meet with members of the leadership team within Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand. What drew me to Orion Health was the quality of its team. I am looking forward to working on solutions that encourage the public and patients to get involved as empowered participants within their health care team. I believe that technology offerings like the patient portal, remote home monitoring and wearable monitoring solutions will disrupt the traditional routine practices of health care delivery.

3. The Second Annual Digital Health Week is this week. Why do you think it's important for Canadians to be aware of the value and benefits of digital health? How can the average Canadian support digital health?

Canada Health Infoway encouraged public engagement through the national 'Knowing is Better' campaign, followed by the currently ongoing 'Better Health Together' campaign. At this stage, the majority of Canadians are aware that there have been significant investments in digital health by both the health system and providers in local and national organizations; and they believe and expect that electronic information is being captured. What remains an open question is whether there is direct value from this accrued information for families and patients. Patients express surprise that the information they shared with one provider is not forwarded to others, which can then hinder their care process. The emerging call to action is for the public to directly engage in collaboration within their jurisdictional, both with their health system and with their local medical/health home, to advocate for active information sharing.

Click here to view the second part of this Q&A blog.