Just weeks after the launch of Health Link’s new 811 phone number, Albertans are grabbing on to the easy to access number and dialing 811 for health information and advice.
Call statistics show just two weeks after the number was announced, 66 per cent of callers were using the new, easy to remember number in place of the old 10 digit numbers.
Health Link is Alberta Health Services’ free, 24/7 health information and advice line providing support to over one million Albertans last year. This province-wide service helps callers by providing at-home treatment options and information on the most appropriate health care services – often avoiding an unneeded visit to the emergency department.
Of those who called with a health concern last year, nearly half (48 per cent) were given advice to care for themselves at home, 36 per cent were told to visit their doctor or another health care provider and just 16 per cent were advised to go to the emergency department.
Health Link staff provide advice and navigation services via telephone as well as online health information to the public through www.MyHealth.Alberta.ca. Health Link can also connect callers to interpretation services in over 200 different languages for those Albertans who don’t speak English as their first language.
811 replaces the existing local numbers in Calgary and Edmonton as well as the province-wide toll-free number. The old numbers will continue to direct callers to Health Link for the time being. In a medical emergency, Albertans should continue to dial 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.
For more information visit www.MyHealth.Alberta.ca/811.