Telus Health Launches Digital Communications Tool MedDialog for Doctors

Back-and-forth communications between health providers through different channels mean patient information doesn’t always make it into their medical chart.

To simplify and improve these communications, Telus Health launched a solution: MedDialog. The national clinical solution allows doctors to exchange critical patient information and converse directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) systems. MedDialog is currently offered to PS Suite and Med Access EMR users.

Physicians juggle a tremendous amount of information every day. According to a Health Canada survey, nearly 25 per cent of issues affecting patient safety or healthcare errors were related to communication and documentation errors.

Telus conducted its own health survey that revealed physicians still primarily use phone calls (65 per cent) and paper-based faxes (85 per cent) to communicate in their practice. Even though more than 73 per cent of physicians use EMR to maintain patient clinical notes, calls and faxes aren’t integrated within a patient’s EMR chart.

“Communications between primary care physicians, specialists and other practitioners will no longer be a sporadic, disjointed and unreliable chain of telephone calls, fax and letters in the mail,” said Dr. James Kavanagh, a medical director with Telus Health in a press release. “Telus Health is equipping physicians with the tools to send and receive patient information quickly and easily right from our EMRs.”

With MedDialog, all vital patient information is digitally stored within their chart.

“MedDialog is built on the capabilities of the Telus Health Exchange platform, an open and vendor-agnostic solution that fosters collaboration and more efficient and effective healthcare for the benefit of patients,” said Telus Health’s Chief Medical Officer Michael Guerriere. “The launch of MedDialog advances our vision that to improve patient outcomes we must harness the power of technology to enable a fully connected health ecosystem.”

Starting with 560 physicians, Telus is running a free trial of MedDialog in the Ottawa region until Sept. 30. After the trial, MedDialog with cost each user $20 per month, with an option to add Integrated eFax (to send faxes electronically through an EMR) for an additional $10 per month.

Telus said they envision all 20,000 physicians using Telus EMRs and other EMR platforms will be connected through MedDialog.