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Nova Scotia Cancer Patients Gain Access to Digital Appointment Scheduling and Communication Platform

By Evan Taylor Jun 26, 2023 | 12:00 PM

Nova Scotia cancer patients can now conveniently access their appointment schedules, receive reminders, and stay informed about any changes through the noona patient engagement platform. The introduction of this scheduling feature marks a significant milestone for the province, coinciding with the implementation of electronic appointment scheduling under the ARIA OIS (Oncology Information System). The integration of noona and the provincial electronic appointment system is a crucial step toward unifying cancer services in Nova Scotia.

Dr. Amanda Caissie, Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Dalhousie University and the Medical Director lead for the Oncology Transformation Project (OTP), emphasized the positive impact of the pilot phase of noona on radiation oncology patients. Dr. Caissie expressed optimism that the full implementation of noona across the provincial cancer care program will greatly enhance communication between patients and their care teams, irrespective of their specific treatment.

Patients enrolled in the Cancer Care Program will receive an email and text message providing an introduction to noona and instructions for downloading the app and activating their account. This digital patient companion will accompany them throughout their cancer care journey, facilitating improved communication and access to information.

Dr. Helmut Hollenhorst, the senior medical director of the Cancer Care Program, highlighted the user-friendly nature of noona and assured technical support for patients experiencing registration or appointment access issues. Recognizing that not all patients may possess or have access to smartphones, computers, or tablets, the care team will explore alternative communication methods for those individuals.

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Discovery, and Chief Nurse Executive at Nova Scotia Health, described noona as a key innovation in cancer care, enabling easy access to digital patient education and remote symptom monitoring. This technology will soon be available to Nova Scotians, providing timely access to care based on patient-reported symptoms from the comfort of their homes.

The QEII Foundation, as part of its $100-million ‘We Are campaign,’ is actively raising $1.1 million to support the implementation of noona and patient-reported outcomes technology under the Oncology Transformation Project. Generous donations from the QEII Foundation’s supporters play a pivotal role in making this patient engagement platform a reality.

Susan Mullin, President and CEO of the QEII Foundation, stressed the significance of noona in establishing a virtual connection between patients and their cancer care teams. Mullin expressed pride in the foundation’s efforts to raise $1.1 million in support of this innovative technology and its full integration.



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