• Carestream's new Clinical Collaboration Platform can boost collaboration around clinical data; break down walls between ancillary departments, sites and networks; and provide physicians with a single view of critical patient records and information. (Photo: Business Wire) <a href=http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50993146&lang=en> Multimedia Gallery URL</a>
    Canada has spent more than $10 billion developing electronic health records but continues to lag behind other countries in sharing information among healthcare providers and organizations, says a new report.

    Less than 30 per cent of primary care doctors have electronic access to clinical data about a patient who has been seen by a different health organization, says the report from the C.D. Howe Institute.

    “We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress in the last two or three years but we’re still behind,” Dennis Protti, co-author of the report and professor emeritus at the School of Health Information Science at the University of Victoria, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “There are parts of the world where every GP, regardless of where they’re practising or how they’re practising, uses technology and communicates electronically with hospitals and specialists… We’re not there yet.”

    Some surveys have found that in primary care only 12 per cent of physicians are notified electronically of

    Read More »from Canada behind in bringing e-health online: report
  • Canada's Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers speaks during a news conference upon the release of his report in Ottawa November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)Canada's Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers speaks during a news conference upon the release of his report in Ottawa November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)
    A move by the government of Ontario to review the controversial practice of solitary confinement is a good first step toward eliminating the practice, according to Canada’s federal prison ombudsman.

    The Ontario government has announced it is launching a review of the solitary confinement policy in provincial jails — which house those awaiting trial or who are serving terms of less than two years. Those inmates serving two years or more are held in federal prisons.

    The news came in a statement from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

    It said the review will examine how segregation practices stand up against other mental-health policies.

    "I am very pleased to see the announcement in Ontario as the province operates one of the larger provincial jail systems," Howard Sapers, the federal prison Ombudsman, said in an interview with Yahoo Canada News.

    "It’s a good first step."

    Mental health considerations

    The Ontario review will include consultations with mental

    Read More »from Ontario review of solitary confinement a step in the right direction, says federal prison watchdog
  • (Submitted by Nora Fitzgerald/CBC)(Submitted by Nora Fitzgerald/CBC)

     Nora Fitzgerald had no idea when she tried to cross the border to the U.S. that her seal-skin purse, an accessory that was drawing many compliments, would be confiscated. Since seals are on the endangered list, U.S. customs seized the piece, slapped her with a $250 fine and a threat that she could be denied future entry unless she paid up.

    According to the U.S. Department of State, 300,000 people cross the border between Canada and America every day, and while basic travel rules are familiar to most, there are a few lesser-known restrictions on common items that could cause unexpected trouble at the border.

     

    With a gem like this, you'd definitely need proof of purchase. But it's true for tiny items, too. (Reuters)With a gem like this, you'd definitely need proof of purchase. But it's true for tiny items, too. (Reuters)

    Jewelery

    You may be heading south for a fancy event or wedding, but Canadian Border Services Agency suggests travelling with as little jewelery as possible. The pieces are small, can be hard to identify and it's often difficult to prove that you didn't purchase them while away.

    In order to avoid a hassle, the agency suggests preparing documentation before you leave the country.

    Read More »from Border woes: 5 items that could get you in trouble at the Canada-U.S. border
  • In this May 20, 2009 file photo a glass of white wine is swirled during a tasting in Oakville, Calif. (AP Photo)In this May 20, 2009 file photo a glass of white wine is swirled during a tasting in Oakville, Calif. (AP Photo)

    News of a recent lawsuit filed in California claiming several cheap wines have ‘very, very high levels of arsenic’ was a bit of a buzz-kill. But it turns out many are questioning the veracity of that lawsuit.The person who filed the lawsuit just happens to also be promoting his business that analyzes wine. And on top of that, he applied the standard fordrinking water (10 parts arsenic per billion) in the U.S. to wine.

    Canadians would have to drink vast amounts of wine every single day for this to be a legitimate concern,Warren Kindzierski, an associate professor with the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta told Yahoo Canada News.

    And he’s not alone in his belief.

    “I personally question the reasoning that less expensive wines have potentially higher levels of arsenic,” Jonathan Rodwell, director of vineyards and wine-making at Devonian Coast Wineries in Nova Scotia, said in an email interview. “There is no reasoning in this and I suspect this is more a strategic

    Read More »from Arsenic in wine is ‘not an important public health issue’: experts
  • The Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. The Canada Revenue Agency wants to set the record straight when journalists fail to include its upbeat take in their stories. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickThe Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. The Canada Revenue Agency wants to set the record straight when journalists fail to include its upbeat take in their stories. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
    Political pressure from charitable organizations has resulted in tougher drunk driving laws and health warnings on cigarettes.

    But a crackdown on political activities by environmental, labour and human rights groups under the current Conservative government threatens to silence those who would challenge the status quo, warns a new report by the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria.

    “Calling for a change in laws is considered political,” Calvin Sandborn, legal director of the centre, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    Charitable organizations are living in fear that speaking out will earn them an audit, and potentially see them lose their charitable status, he says.

    “If we’d had this kind of fear … we never would have cleaned up the Great Lakes; we never would have gotten drunk driving laws; we never would have gotten dioxins out of pulp mill pollution…. We’d likely still have lead in gasoline.”

    The report, prepared for the environmental group DeSmog Canada, says the federal

    Read More »from Charity audits threaten to silence those seeking change: report
  • A price tag lists the price of orange juice at a grocery store in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Dec. 8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickA price tag lists the price of orange juice at a grocery store in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Dec. 8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    About 1.1 million Canadian households did not have enough food to eat in 2012, says a new report from Statistics Canada.

    Five per cent of Canadian children and eight per cent of adults experienced “food insecurity,” meaning they could not afford enough nutritious food, says the report released Wednesday.

    “We weren’t surprised by the results that we got. They have been consistent,” analyst Shirin Roshanafshar tells Yahoo Canada News.

    In Nunavut, almost 37 per cent of households reported going without. That’s more than four times the national average of 8.3 per cent.

    “Nunavut had the highest rate of food insecurity amongst all Canadian provinces and territories,” Roshanafshar says.

    The report by Roshanafshar and analyst Emma Hawkins looked at data from 65,000 Canadian Community Health surveys filled out annually from 2007-2012, focusing on 2012.

    While Nunavut reported the highest rate of food insecurity, all the territories were hit harder than their provincial counterparts to the

    Read More »from What's for dinner? Not enough for many Canadians: StatsCan report
  • Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.

    It turns out not everything’s bigger in Texas.

    As Alberta braces for what will be a disappointing budget for one group or another, a new Fraser Institute report compares the Prairie province’s fiscal performance to the U.S. state with a very similar economic history.

    While Alberta outperformed Texas on most economic indicators from 2000 to 2013, the same cannot be said for its bookkeeping, says Mark Milke, a senior fellow at the public policy think tank and author of the report.

    “Alberta’s got a spending problem,” Milke tells Yahoo Canada News.

    Oil and gas revenues fluctuate regularly, he says. Alberta shouldn’t bank on the boom years.

    “If it had better controlled spending over the past decade, it would still be producing budget surpluses. Instead, it’s staring a lot of red ink in the face because it couldn’t control its spending.”

    Oil and gas accounts for 26.8 per cent of Alberta’s gross domestic product. In Texas, it amounts to 11 per cent.

    Both jurisdictions have seen relatively

    Read More »from Report urges Alberta to cut public sector spending ahead of budget
  • Former CBC ombudsman LaPointe says there's one key skill a good ombudsman needs. (Handout)Former CBC ombudsman LaPointe says there's one key skill a good ombudsman needs. (Handout)

    Former CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe didn’t hesitate when asked to name the one character trait that someone in a top watchdog role – whether for a corporation or government – absolutely must possess to get a difficult jobdone.

    Is it better to be thick-skinned? Stubborn? Tenacious?

    “You have to have a lot of patience,” LaPointe told Yahoo Canada News.

    “A number of people are bringing their complaints with a fair amount of anxiety. You have to sit back. Don’t judge. Get the complaint fully understood and then do your own investigation.”

    At the same time, he said, “You have to find a way to make sure you’ve got the buy-in of the institution (you represent). You can’t be seen as an unfair figure who isn’t going to listen to them, as well.”

    “It takes a lot more patience than you might imagine.”


    Related stories:

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    Winnipeg pharmacist 'inappropriately accesses' 56 patients' health info: WRHA

    Wounded vets with no

    Read More »from Being the bad guy: What makes the ombudsman’s job so difficult
  • REUTERS/Phil NobleREUTERS/Phil Noble

    There was a time when living past age 85 was a rarity, a result of some tightly held secret of longevity or a testament to the outstanding quality of one’s DNA.

    But the “oldest old,” as they’ve been dubbed, are the most rapidly growing segment of Canadian society, says a new report.

    In 1971, just 139,000 Canadians were 85 years and older.  By 2013, there were 702,000. By 2060, that number is expected to hit 2.7 million.

    “They are coming,” Jacques Legare, a demographer at the Universite de Montreal and lead author of the study, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “This has never been experienced. It will be the first time in history.”

    This generation of extreme seniors will result in a demographic shift in the country, he says.

    Policy makers need to prepare to deal with their rapidly expanding ranks, says Legare, who presented the study recently to a group of researchers and policy makers in Ottawa.

    Statistics Canada estimates there are now about six million Canadians aged 65 and over. By 2060,

    Read More »from The oldest old: The changing face of Canadian seniors
  • A drug being introduced to Canadian streets has an explosive potential — one that police and authorities are worried could cause dangerous consequences for innocent bystanders.

    The drug itself is extremely potent, but there is a great deal of concern about the danger of explosions or fires from methods used to convert or “manufacture” marijuana into highly potent concentrates.

    The new drug is called “shatter”; it looks like maple syrup or thin toffee on wax paper. But its looks are deceiving. The drug is similar to hash oil, is also known as honey oil or budderand contains a THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) level of up to 80 per cent, which can give hallucinations. Top grade marijuana on the streets usually measures about 20 per cent.

    It sells for about $100 a gram and it takes about eight grams of marijuana to make one gram of the concentrate.

    Shatter is a hardened extract made from marijuana resin that is processed with highly flammable materials that have caused an untold number of fires

    Read More »from Manufacture of emerging drug ‘shatter’ on Canadian market poses dangers to users and makers: police

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