Sunday, 21 November 2021

Have you heard of PocketHealth?

We are really concerned with health and healthcare. COVID–19 has truly complicated the process of healthcare, which we understand, but this is a new mystery. We have been managing prostate cancer since 2011, his robotic surgery was Jan., 2014 (see photo, left!) in Ottawa. It metastasized, they found it, and watch it with tests, and treatment began Oct. 8, 2014. So far, so good. 

Joseph Brian (JB) takes a PSA test quarterly, prior to his Lupron injection. If any numbers change, we will take a different approach. I've tracked his test results. We used to have to meet with a doctor to have them interpret the results. Now, LifeLabs (a for-profit) uploads the data to a website, often within 24 hours. It is such a relief – you just want to know. The trick was figuring out how to access LifeLabs online to make an appointment due to COVID. That was a lesson.

When there was an imaging scan at Smiths Falls Hospital, they would put the results on a DVD, and we would take it to our doctor in Ottawa Health Unit. The rules are that we have the tests in our Health Unit, if possible, and then meet up with the doctor in Ottawa.

Our test results, called imaging results, used to be sent electronically (or faxed?) from our healthcare unit here in Lanark West's LGLDHU to both our local GP, and the urologist/surgeon in Ottawa's health unit. Or, we would take a copy with us if we could. We have learned to make copies of all tests. Our GP in Perth has been really good supporting us with this.

LGLDHU COVID cases are rising
We are in the Lanark West area
of the 5 that make up our unit.
(There are 34 health units in Ontario.) 

From October 2013 until 2019, JB has had 21 tests. They established baseline data and found the metastasis: 

  • 5 Bone Density Scans,
  • 8 CT Scans, 
  • 4 ultrasounds, 
  • a cystoscopy, 
  • a colonoscopy (2013), 
  • 2 MRIs. (2013 and 2015).  
The imaging tests can happen here in Perth, or Smiths Falls, or in an Ottawa hospital, in enough time for the results to get to our surgeon. Following that, we meet with the urologist/surgeon in Ottawa (Dr. Cagiannos). Treating and managing prostate cancer is not easy. The most important thing we've found is to ensure that Dr. C. has the data prior to our appointment with him in Ottawa. It is crucial.

Apparently, JB's health records are now being put into a new site called PocketHealth. They were the ones demanding his vaccine status. We didn't give the hospital permission for them to release our health records to PocketHealth. It turns out, in order to share our health records with various providers, we register online with PocketHealth, and have to pay $5 a pop to forward it. 

Why do we have to pay to access our health records? We have universal healthcare, and have not paid anything for tests. We do pay for hospital parking ($13/visit), which is another issue.

From our local hospital website, which no one told us about: 

Please note that Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital no longer releases imaging records via CD and provides imaging records to patients and their care providers only through secure, online access. If you wish to pick up an Access Page which will provide your care provider with secure online access to your imaging records, please visit the Diagnostic Imaging Department from 8:15am–3:45pm weekdays, or we can fax this access page directly to your care provider. If you prefer not to visit the hospital, you can also easily access and share your imaging records online by visiting Pocket Health.

PocketHealth is a for-profit, and in the news: 

The best information we got came from a drawing by Dr. C! I labelled it to better understand it.
Lupron injections quarterly

medical imaging: results on a DVD

one of his scans


Tom said...

...your health is nothing to be taken for granted!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Hmm, that sounds a bit like the business our govt tried to fly by without it being noticed last year - but thankfully our GP network (personal doctor system) were as resistant on behalf of their patients as most patients themselves would be to having a centralised, monetised records system. It didn't go through and our records remain firmly in our relative locales and entirely within the NHS. The way "THEY" went about it was to put it in place and in very very small print and suggested you could opt-out by contacting your doctor. This appeared with only seven days warning!!! BIG kerfuffle... just another in the very long line of SNAFUs by B-Jiggers and his Krew... YAM xx

Gaelyn said...

Glad the doctors can keep on top of this but don't understand being charged for the portal service.

Christine said...

Have not heard of pocket health too bad it is for profit. You guys are managing this well doing the utmost you can.

Anvilcloud said...

I got an email from pocket health just this morning but I didn’t read it. I don’t think there is anything new although I should check. I got it for my visits to SF. Queensway Carleton uses a different system, but I don’t think I have to pay for that one. The problem seems to be that different health areas (hospitals) have different systems and can’t talk to each other easily. I think CP has some trouble communicating with SF, but we can talk to Almonte etc. It shouldn’t be this way. Maybe it will change.

Nancy J said...

It looks like you need an " Access Page" which will give your own provider access to the records? Maybe this is like a passport to your own personal data.Why pay? It all sounds very complicated, maybe email or phone the next person you have to see, and find if there is an easier, free way to do it all. Meantime stay warm.XXXX

DUTA said...

We live in a world where there's no privacy, and we are asked to pay for things we used to get for free. I wrote once a post on how genealogical companies seemed to have gotten hold of info regarding cemeteries, and to find out things one has to submit to them the request.Most people are unaware of what's going on.

Red said...

That's been a long journey.

Cloudia said...

Worth the effort!

William Kendall said...

This is the first I've heard of it.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Always something new that costs money. So far I am healthy enough to walk a few blocks to any place that charges for parking.

Jeanie said...

That's odd about having to pay for your own health records. I'll tell you, navigating the medical super highway is no fun job and I admire all you are doing. Sending all good wishes for good results on all the testing.