The digital age is transforming countless sectors, and health is no exception. Since 2014, the team led by John Kildea at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), in collaboration with clinician researchers Tarek Hijal and Andréa Laizner, has been focused on the innovative Opal Patient Portal Platform. Released in 2018, the award-wining tool gives MUHC patients direct access to their electronic medical records from the hospital—a first in Québec.

Designed in close cooperation with care recipients, clinical staff, experts and researchers, Opal provides direct access to patient data, helping to optimize patient care management. Currently used by over 6,000 care recipients, Opal has garnered rave reviews and is recommended by 99% of users.

Created and developed in Québec as part of a research project, the platform rethinks healthcare delivery. By making data easier to access, Opal helps patients feel less anxious and more in control as active participants in their own health. It is also a hub they can use for appointment reminders with detailed explanations and online admission to reduce wait times. It provides clinical staff with a virtual waiting room dashboard and makes it possible to schedule patients’ appointments and view their information. Administrators use Opal’s room planning system to track patients in the clinic for more efficient resource management.

The Opal project reflects the broader context of the digitization of health data in Québec, where there is a need for centralized and accessible medical information. With that in mind, the team is now working to expand access to the portal to healthcare centres across the province.

Source: (in French only)