Canadians with chronic conditions encounter medication errors and unnecessary repeat procedures

New survey probes Canadians on their healthcare experiences with managing chronic illness

Toronto, ON – Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Canadians with chronic conditions are experiencing medication errors and undergoing unnecessary repeat procedures according to a national survey commissioned by Orion Health.

The Orion Health Chronic Care Index, a Leger poll* of 1,551 residents found that nearly one-in-five Canadians with chronic conditions (19%) have experienced medication errors or duplications and 16 percent often undergo unnecessary repeat procedures. Additionally, more than half of those with chronic conditions have had to answer similar questions for multiple clinicians.

“The findings show that a sizeable portion of Canadians with chronic conditions believe that care providers need better means to share information,” said Dr. Chris Hobson, a family physician with 15 years of experience and the Chief Medical Officer at Orion Health. “For disparate healthcare systems to realize their full value, integration of information across the medical and care community is necessary.”

Here are some of the other standout findings

  • Nearly half of Canadians living with chronic conditions (47%) have had to repeatedly describe their condition, symptoms, medications, and other health information every time they visited a care provider.
  • One-in-four with chronic conditions (26%), said the specialist didn’t have their primary care physician’s information about them readily available.
  • Nearly one-in-three (33%) answered “NO” when asked if someone at the hospital let their primary care doctor know they were discharged.

Technology, healthcare, privacy issues

The survey had several findings from a technology and healthcare perspective.

  • While nearly all respondents (92%) believe they need to play a part in managing their own condition, a quarter (27%) believe they do not have the appropriate tools to do so.
  • 81% answered that security and privacy of their health information is of the utmost importance.

Of note, three-in-10 (29%) of those with chronic conditions say their complete healthcare record is not available every time they see a clinician.

“A single comprehensive electronic patient health record is a lofty yet attainable goal,” said Dr. Hobson. “This is something that can improve diagnoses and treatment, facilitate healthcare navigation, and bring transparency to healthcare services.”

Income, education, geography have a determining factor in results

  • Those with lower income, defined at <$40k annually were significantly more likely to report at least one chronic illness (51%) vs those with incomes $80K+ (34%)
  • Atlantic Canada was most likely to report a chronic illness (50%) and Quebec (27%) the least likely
  • Those with high school education or less were more likely to report at least one chronic illness (43%) than those with a university degree (35%)
  • Those living in a rural setting (43%) were more likely to report chronic illness than either suburban (35%) or urban (39%)

“Several of these findings support the idea that social determinants influence the health of populations,” said Dr. Hobson. “Overwhelmingly, much of what determines health outcomes comes from environmental, social, economic, activity and nutritional factors. “

Canadians identify their chronic conditions: Arthritis, diabetes and mental illness top list

Overall, the Orion Health Chronic Care Index found nearly four-in-10 (38%) Canadian adults report living with a chronic illness led by arthritis, diabetes and mental illness/addiction. Respondents were asked, do you suffer from any of the following chronic conditionsHere were their responses:

  • Arthritis: 15%
  • Diabetes: 9%
  • Mental illness/addiction: 8%
  • Heart (Cardiovascular) Disease 5%
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease 4%
  • Osteoporosis 4%
  • Neurological conditions 2%
  • Cancer 2%
  • Other 7%

Click here to download the infographic.

*About The Orion Health Chronic Care Index

The Orion Health Chronic Care Index is an online survey of 1,551 Canadian residents, completed between February 20th to 25th, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. This included a sub-sample of n=623 Canadians who identify as having a chronic condition.  A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20, of the overall Canadian population.

The full results of the Orion Health Chronic Care Index can be found here.

About Orion Health

Orion Health is a leading population health management company and is one of the world’s foremost providers of electronic health records (EHRs) and healthcare integration solutions to healthcare organizations. Worldwide, Orion Health solutions are used in 30 countries by more than 300,000 clinicians. In Canada, tens of thousands of clinicians and hundreds of provider facilities and OEM partners rely on Orion Health to facilitate data exchange between hospitals, health systems and EHRs, resulting in improved care coordination, increased cost savings and efficiencies, and enhanced quality of care. More information can be found at For more information, visit Connect with us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.


Media Contacts:

Alex Cerelli
MAVERICK PR for Orion Health
416-640-5525 ex 238

Karen Ewing
Senior Marketing Director, Orion Health