Urban Community Access Program

Health Focus Group
October 7, 1999

Discussion Questions - Key Points Made

  1. What Nova Scotia health information and services are currently available online?

    • Central Regional Health Board - lists services/programs
    • Clubs & organizations directory - at library - lists health related support groups (self-help/community focus)
    • Just the Berries - physicians' professional support site
    • Heart & Stroke
    • Canadian Cancer
    • Most national organization sites link to provincial sites and American ones
    • Canadian Mental Health Association - factual information and stress information is in 12 languages
    • Dalhousie Family Medicine - has an evaluation tool for evaluating the accuracy/credibility of health information/sites
    • Health Promotion Network Atlantic - on Chebucto Community Net
    • VON - general and members only
    • Library - health database on articles - has limited access
    • Sears Canada - Ask a Nurse program - has pre-taped information and a 1-800 number to call
    • Heart health - has a questionnaire which leads to different information dependent on answers
    • RDA - environment information
    • Type any any topic and you will get LOTS of information

             Most sites have general contact information and program information, some have some questionnaires and self-assessment tools. There does not seem to be much in the way of health services being offered.

  2. What Nova Scotia health information and services do you think could be provided online?

    • There is a need to organize and link information.
    • VON has 2 innovative ideas being explored. (1) Their seniors help line goes online and (2) their visitors program goes online by visiting people online
    • Seniors population have needs that could be addressed - growing target group
    • As more access is available to larger numbers of people and information/awareness grows there will be more pressure/demand on existing services
    • As more government services/information is provided online - the existence of hard copies decreases. The cases of "online is the only place to get the information" will grow

  3. Where do you think access arrangements/terminals need to be located?

    • Shopping malls
    • Waiting rooms
    • Support group care givers
    • Seniors - community centres, long term care facilities
    • Ferry terminals
    • Temples, synagogues
    • Privacy issue re: mental health population and also the issue of isolation related to their condition - would they venture into a "public" site?
    • Laptop loan might be a solution
    • Issues around cultural health information
    • Shoppers Drug Mart/pharmacy
    • Doctor's buildings
    • Partner with business (example: SuperStore Community Rooms)

  4. What barriers are there likely to be for potential users in getting to and using access sites? How can the health community help to overcome these barriers?

    • Culture/language
    • Confidentiality
    • Maintenance of sites
    • Transportation
    • User fees
    • Hours of operation
    • Volunteer dependent
    • Current behavior does not include IT regarding health
    • Flow of where people go - for example - if sick - where do you go? - catch people in that flow
    • Awareness building required
    • Knowledge of site locations - what they can provide

  5. How do we ensure that potential users understand/know that access sites exist and can play a role in providing health information and services?

    • Advertising - TV, bus, PSA, newsletters, etc.
    • Training
    • Educate health providers to send people to CAP sites
    • Need a clear identity for all CAP sites - easily recognizable
    • Awareness building through community health boards

  6. Who do we need to be talking to who is not at this session?

    • Canadian Health Promotion Network Atlantic
    • Department of Health
    • Medical Society
    • Provincial Health Council
    • Consumers
    • Pharmaceutical companies


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