New web portal to help millions of Canadians care for loved ones



    OTTAWA, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadians who care for family and friends
will soon have access to an innovative web portal tool that will equip them
with information they need to provide the care their loved ones deserve.
    The bilingual (French and English) web portal tool will contain
information on providing care, respite supports, financial advice, discussion
boards for connecting with one another and a Caregiver Electronic Record
(CER), which will serve to connect caregivers to home and community care
sectors. The CER will provide caregivers with an electronic way to help them
monitor their personal caregiving issues and the details about the care they
are providing. This record will take into consideration the needs of the
caregiver, the care recipient and the community care professional.
    "This portal is an important step toward supporting millions of
caregivers in Canada", said Judith Shamian, President & CEO of VON Canada.
"VON Canada has for many years recognized the important role family and friend
caregivers play in the delivery of health care. This portal is an important
step in connecting this community to one another and to other sectors of the
health care system".
    The initiative is supported by a $1 million investment from Canada Health
Infoway (Infoway) and designed to support the 3 million Canadians who provide
a staggering 2 billion hours of care to loved ones. These caregivers give
their time at home or in the community, saving the health care system an
estimated $5 billion a year.
    "The caregiver portal is one of many examples of emerging technologies
that are managing the vast flow of information that is critical to delivering
quality care," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway.
"It's important to recognize the important role of family and friends who care
for their loved ones. This project is about equipping these caregivers with a
tool they can use to support the important work they do."
    To ensure the portal offers insight into the future needs of caregivers,
assesses how technology can help deliver health care and allows policy makers
to plan for the needs of caregivers, the portal will feature an evaluation
component guided by the Waterloo Institute of Health Informatics Research
(WIHIR).
    Additional benefits include enhanced care at the home and in the
community and reduced visits to clinics, physician offices and emergency
departments. The portal is expected to be launched in June, 2008.

    VON is dedicated to being a leader in the delivery of innovative
comprehensive health and social services and to influencing the development of
health and social policy in Canada. A national health organization and
registered charity, VON offers a wide range of community health care solutions
that meet the needs of Canadians from coast to coast. VON is committed to
continuous quality improvement and is accredited by the Canadian Council of
Health Services Accreditation.

    Infoway is a federally-funded, independent, not-for-profit organization
that is leading the development and implementation of electronic health
projects across Canada. Infoway works with provinces and territories to invest
in electronic health projects, which support safer, more efficient health care
delivery. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these private and secure
systems provide health care professionals with immediate access to complete
and accurate patient information, enabling better decisions about diagnosis
and treatment. The result is a sustainable health care system offering
improved quality, accessibility, productivity and cost savings.




For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries: Thea McCarthy, Communications
Coordinator, VON Canada, (613) 288-3462, Thea.mccarthy@von.ca; Dan Strasbourg,
Director, Media Relations, Canada Health Infoway, (416) 595-3424,
dstrasbourg@infoway-inforoute.ca


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