A message from the Alberta Medical Association President

Dear albertapatients member,

This is our last issue of the albertapatients newsletter for 2015. As we look back over the first (almost) six months of operations, I want to thank each and every one of you for joining this growing community. We are nearly at 1,500 engaged and active members and we will keep moving. Eventually, we hope to have as many as 15,000 Albertans sharing though this space.

The AMA board has received -- and will continue to receive – regular updates on what you are doing, the surveys you’ve taken and the conversations you are having. Health care can take a long time to move, but every bit of insight that you give us as patients makes us, as doctors, better advocates for a Patients First® system.

The Board of Directors is excited about what you have done so far and will do in the year ahead. I look forward to following your journey and benefitting from your wisdom.

Warm regards,

Carl W. Nohr, MDCM, PhD, FRCSC, FACS
News from albertapatients.ca

In November, we asked albertapatients members about their use of (and experience in obtaining) prescription medication - a topic that most people have some experience with, and many were keen to discuss. The results revealed interesting insights about receiving prescriptions from doctors and medical practitioners, patients’ confidence that their physicians are aware of all medications they have been taking, and issues surrounding the handling, cost, and accessibility of prescription drugs. For highlights from that survey, please read on to the Did You Know section, below. (We’ve provided a link to the full survey results if you are interested in seeing it.)

We also drew our October sweepstakes winners. (As you may already know, we hold monthly sweepstakes draws for 5 prizes of $200. All albertapatients members are automatically entered into each monthly draw, and every time you complete a survey, your member ID number gets an extra entry – an extra chance to win!)

Our October winners are:

Rosemarie C.
Sandy B.
Lourdes Z.
Nancy A.
Curtis V.


Care to be an albertapatients ambassador?
albertapatients is a growing community and we would like to welcome (many!) more Albertans. Would you like to be an ambassador? We’ve provided some tools to make sharing easy:


• Simply log in to our website at http://www.albertapatients.ca/, look for the Refer a Friend box on the right side of your screen, and click the “More Info” link to tell others about us through email or on social media.

• Email support@albertapatients.ca and provide your name and mailing address and we will send you a small pad of albertapatients.ca tear off sheets to give to your family and friends. (You may have received one yourself from your doctor’s office.)

Prescriptions and health care. Did you know?

A significant number of patients are visiting doctors to obtain prescription renewals.
When asked about the last time they saw a doctor and received a prescription, nearly twice as many albertapatients members we spoke with said they received a renewal for a medication they had already been taking compared to those who received a prescription for a new medication (59% renewal, 31% new). An additional 10% received both a new prescription and a renewal at their last visit.

Patients receiving prescription renewals are having considerably different experiences than those visiting doctors for new prescriptions.
While some respondents told us that their doctors are reminding them about various aspects of their renewed prescriptions, the majority (59%) indicated that their doctors are not reviewing what the medication is treating, dosage and use, side effects, risks, or interactions. On the other hand, 4 in 5 albertapatients members we spoke with said their doctors did a good job of explaining why new medications are being prescribed, and around two-thirds agreed that their doctors seemed knowledgeable about the new medications and were able to answer questions. 

Most members we spoke with (43%) are taking medications exactly as they have been prescribed.
Unwanted side effects were cited as the most common reason why patients didn't follow their doctor's instructions (33%), followed by running out and not being able to see a doctor for more medication (16%) and not feeling that taking the medication was necessary (14%).​

Read the full report (opens in a new browser window).

Closing comments

If you would like to make comments, share feedback, or suggest an area for further research, Let Us Know.

Thank you for being a member of the community!

Do you have a question you'd like us to ask in a survey or a topic you'd like us to discuss?
Please share it with us! 

523 21 Ave. S.W. | Calgary, AB | T2S 0G9 | support@albertapatients.ca

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