In the second part of our two-part Q&A blog, Susan provides further insight into her experiences in healthcare and views on digital health. If you have any questions that weren't answered, please tweet them to @OrionHealthCA.

1. Why is digital health and connected healthcare information important to you?

I discovered a love for digital health and healthcare information when I began working on digital automation. I was tasked with applying advanced process automation principles to the automation of high volume clinical laboratory processes. This work eventually expanded to major clinical laboratories across North America. It was from these early ventures, that I learned that people and patient outcomes were important measures of success. From there I became passionate about patient outcomes and the human element involved in improving healthcare. The success of my work in digital health has been directly related to the care and involvement of people, their evolving behaviours, adoption of change, and education.

2. From your perspective, what is the most significant digital health priority for healthcare providers?

Sharing patient information. Too many digital health information systems deployed today function as local information silos. During my time in government, I received emails and letters from many members of the public raising concerns and frustrations over being continually prompted for the same information at each step of their engagement with their care providers. The healthcare process can be more efficient for both patients and healthcare providers if there's more information sharing. So I believe one of our top priorities should be the private, secure sharing of patient information in through integrated electronic patient records.

3. Where do you see digital in Canada in 5 years?

In digital health, five years is short term, just right for building new momentum. The greatest disruptive event in the next five years in Canadian digital health space will be extending clinical information into the hands of the public as a routine offering. This includes the results of diagnostic tests, care plans, scheduling information, and secure message exchanges with the care team and family. Information will be key to empowering the public with the ability to make informed decisions on their own behalf and in collaboration with their care team.

4. What are your top-line priorities over the next five years and what do you plan to achieve with Orion Health (in the near future)?

  • Raise awareness of the opportunity for emerging young professionals to expand the capacity of digital health in Canada and beyond;
  • Support transparent communication of common sense approach, solutions to achieving real integration across health domain;
  • Highlight innovation as a lever for change that begins at the point of service from the bottom up, rather than top-down, in order to enable sustainable and affordable healthcare; and
  • Shine a spotlight on digital solutions that have the capacity to meet or exceed the requirements of health system, of providers and of the public.