CALGARY – A free smartphone application is now available to support cancer patients and their families throughout their healthcare journey, including during meetings with care providers.
The My Care Conversations app – developed in partnership between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Cancer Foundation– enables patients to record their conversations with their cancer care team to help them remember and confirm what was discussed.
“Research shows patients may forget up to 80 per cent of healthcare information discussed at clinic visits,” says Mauro Chies, AHS Vice President of Cancer Control and Clinical Support Services. “Large amounts of new information and words that are unfamiliar can be confusing.
This app allows patients to record their clinic conversations and later share those with trusted family and friends, and other members of their care team, to help communicate information and reduce misunderstandings.”
Research shows recording and re-listening to discussions with one’s care team, then sharing and discussing this information with family and trusted friends, reduces anxiety; improves recall of information; improves communication between the patient, their family members and other trusted individuals; improves satisfaction with care experiences; and decreases the number of followup phone calls and additional visits due to poor recall of details discussed.
“The Alberta Cancer Foundation is pleased to make this investment on behalf of our donors,” says President and CEO George Andrews. “We know how difficult a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families, and we are proud to be part of an initiative that makes that process easier and empowers Albertans to become active members of their cancer journey.”
In Alberta, patients have the right to record their clinical conversations. My Care Conversations has been developed with specific security features and functions that go beyond a standard recording app on a smartphone. My Care Conversations also enables patients to take notes, create various files, offers prompt questions a patient may want to ask their care team, and links to other information and resources. (Note: It is against AHS policy to record in public areas of AHS facilities. Patients using the app are asked to wait until they are in a private clinic room, and inform the care team they are planning to record the conversation.)
“At Alberta Health Services, we want to empower patients and families take a more active role in their healthcare – and this app will help achieve that,” Chies says.
My Care Conversations is available for download on the App Store for Apple devices, and on Google Home for Android devices. See ahs.ca/cancer/Page16144.aspx for more information.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.