Surgery just a mouse click away

Citizens of New Brunswick will now have access to information on provincial surgical care right at their fingertips thanks to a new Web site.

Health and Wellness Minister Elvy Robichaud announced the launch of the New Brunswick Surgical Care Network (NBSCN) Web site at a news conference in Fredericton on February 1.

Residents can now access a variety of information online.

By scrolling over a site map of New Brunswick you can choose the hospital of interest, and it will bring up the specialists at that particular hospital and the type of surgeries offered.

It is all part of the provinces surgical access management strategy that will include a series of initiatives to reduce wait times and improve access.

“New Brunswickers want assurance that those in greatest need will be the first to receive attention, and no one will be subjected to an overly long wait for healthcare services,” said Robichaud.

He added that over the next year they would establish target wait times for surgery, based on the patient’s condition in co-operation with surgeons in each specialty area.

Annie Doucet, operational and statistical analyst with the accountability and health information management branch of the Department of Health & Wellness, said the development of the site was a two-phase operation.

“With phase one, our focus was mainly on functionality, ease of use, and ability to provide general information to the public,” said Doucet. “With phase two, it will continue to be content and user friendliness, but will also focus on lists and reports providing an interactive tool allowing users to sort lists using criteria of their choice.”

The development and design phase was created using coding consisting of HTML, DHTML, JavaScript and ASP (Active Server Pages) done in Dreamweaver MX, and the animation was brought to life with Adobe Image Ready, she said.

“Our webmaster Craig Wedge used a combination of tools to be able to create the look and functionality we envisioned for the site,” Doucet said.

Changes are slated to include the development of a computerized registry of all patients awaiting surgery in New Brunswick from the time they have met with their surgeon, agreed to have surgery and it’s booked into the system, according to Robichaud.

“Having this data will provide the necessary tools for managing and monitoring access to surgery on a provincial basis as well as for each hospital,” he said, noting that use of the Internet for these types of online government services is becoming more widespread.

“I’m seeing this more and more, not only in New Brunswick, but in rural areas in Canada, Robichaud said. “Wherever it’s possible to improve patient care with technology, we’re moving in that direction.”

Robichaud said they plan to have the provincial surgical patient registry operational in 2007. “The registry will enable us to tell you, how many people are waiting in New Brunswick for a specific procedure and for how long.”

The Web site can be found at:

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