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Canadians have a right to see what’s inside their medical records. It’s well established in Canadian law. But it isn’t always easy. While Alberta’s patient portal is expected to come with links to information about the tests and the results, Kim Lavoie, a clinical health psychologist and researcher at the University of Quebec in Montreal, wonders if that’s enough.

In most provinces patients have to ask their doctors for copies of their personal health information, which can take time and there can be fees attached. That means doctors can act as a kind of gatekeeper to our personal health information — whether they want to or not. Patients need their cooperation to see it. But that is changing.  An online portal, called MyHealth Record, is set to roll out in the coming weeks. Alberta Health is not talking about how it might all work ahead of the official launch. It will only say it is in the final consultation process.

While results for scans such as MRIs and CTs are not expected to be made available in the MyHealth Record portal, or at least not right away, patients will have “immediate access” to lab test results. But seeing abnormal blood results right away could cause some real anxiety, according to Dr. Vincent Demers, vice president of the Quebec Medical Association.

“What’s natural in the face of uncertainty … is human beings tend to do things to increase certainty,” said Kim Lavoie, a clinical health psychologist and researcher at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

We’ve all been there. Or, at least know someone who has. Something is off. You’re not well. So you whip out your phone and start searching for answers.

“They’re going to turn to the internet and the internet is full of great information and it’s full of terrible information,” said Lavoie.

Source – CBC News Calgary – Read full article