Greg Price died of complications after testicular cancer surgery, but a review of his case found missed faxes, follow-ups and botched data-sharing ultimately cost the vibrant 31-year-old Alberta man his life.
All the missteps in his case meant it took 407 days from his first complaint for Price — an engineer, pilot, and athlete — to be diagnosed with cancer. He died three months after his doctor said he should see a specialist, and while he was being passed between multiple doctors, his health data often was not.
Now, his sister, Teri Price, says too little has changed in medical information-sharing in the decade since her brother's death. This, despite a review of his case — the 2013 Alberta Continuity of Patient Care Study — that recommended life-saving changes to the healthcare system to avoid more experiences like his.
So, she's fighting to improve the system that she says not only failed her brother, but keeps failing to change.
Price says that Canadians assume that their health information is shared between doctors to keep them safe and studied to improve the system, but often, it's not. And medical front-line staff in Canada say problems persist when it comes to sharing everything from patient information to aggregate medical and staffing data.
"Information tends to be broken up between the services that patients attend," said Ewan Affleck, a doctor in the Northwest Territories who has spent his career fighting for better data access, and a member of the expert advisory arm of the Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy Group.
"The cohesion and use of health data in Canada is legislated to fail."
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Source: CBC News, 17 November 2022