What is an EHR?

An electronic record of your key health information

Traditionally, health information has been stored on paper files in medical facilities like physicians’ offices, testing facilities, hospitals and pharmacies. Now, health information is typically stored on computers at each of those sites.

A provincewide connection

Each health care location submits key patient health information to Alberta Netcare. This information is then presented as a single integrated patient record. Alberta Netcare can be accessed by authorized health care providers, through a secure internet connection. Alberta Netcare makes it faster and easier for clinicians to access up-to-date information about their patients. This makes them able to provide the very best quality of patient care. Learn more about how your health information is protected.

How Does the EHR Work?

All of the medical facilities in Alberta keep their own records of the services they provide to their patients. A copy of information that is considered “key health information” is sent to Alberta Netcare, our provincial EHR. This allows health care professionals at sites across the province to access that information whenever they need it. Learn about the kinds of information this includes.

Before Alberta Netcare, when you visited a medical facility, the health care professionals at that site would have to get records from other sites that you have visited. For example, if you visited a specialist, they had to contact your family doctor for a copy of their records. This would have been done by phone, fax and mail. Alberta Netcare makes this process more efficient.

Now, instead of contacting each site to obtain a copy of your record, the health professional that is currently treating you can simply log onto Alberta Netcare and view all of the key information. This helps them make faster decisions about tests that they still require, and choose the best treatment for you. Learn about who is allowed to access the EHR.

MyHealth Records is a Personal Health Record for Albertans to access some of their health information, such as lab results, medications, and immunizations drawn from Alberta Netcare.  MyHealth Records also provides access to several health and wellness tools to help track and maintain overall health. 

Features include:

  • viewing medications dispensed from community pharmacies. Medication history includes any medication dispensed up to 18 months prior to signing up to MyHealth Records;
  • viewing most immunizations administered in Alberta. Users will also be able to enter immunizations received outside of the province;
  • viewing the results of common lab tests completed within 18 months of the sign-up date to MyHealth Records;
  • recording blood pressure and blood glucose;
  • keeping journals to track mood, sleep, weight and fitness goals.
  • uploading and track information from health devices, including supported blood pressure monitors, blood glucose meters and fitness trackers like FitBit;
  • printing reports and health records to share with health-care providers.  More features will be added to MyHealth Records in the months and years after it launches.

MyHealth Records is a new service for Albertans to access parts of their personal health record, from Alberta Netcare, online. Albertans can view their immunization, lab test and medication patient records.  You can now securely view and manage your health information online.

Further Reading

Knowing is Better Than Not Knowing

Canada Health Infoway has developed a website that explains how EHRs bring key information to clinicians and improve patient care. Visit the Infoway Knowing is better than not knowing website for videos and interactive features that explain what EHRs mean for patients.

Watch Infoway's "What is Worth Knowing" video