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Using Telehealth

Telehealth can be a good adjunct to your practice. As a specialist you can be available to consult with physicians in other jurisdictions. As a physician in a rural area you can "see" patients who live many kilometres from your practice. 

Telehealth is more than a benefit; it's easy to use.

Patient-centred care

By helping health professionals deliver specialized patient-centred care, Telehealth is breaking down barriers and transforming health care.

Our health care needs are changing. Rising aging and rural populations require innovative, flexible ways to bridge service gaps and deliver quality care.

Benefits

In clinical practice, Telehealth has been shown to:

  • increase access to specialized and timely urgent care
  • increase the capacity and efficiency of specialists
  • reduce wait times for appointments and follow-up visits
  • reduce emergency department visits and the time patients spend in hospitals
  • reduce the discomfort and anxiety associated with patients travelling to receive services
  • reduce the costs and carbon emissions associated with patient travel
  • connect care teams to provide greater continuity of care
  • connect remote family members with long-stay patients
  • connect health-care professionals for knowledge sharing
  • keep patients in their homes and communities longer

Support

You're supported every step of the way. No matter how you choose to use Telehealth, rest assured the Telehealth team will provide ongoing guidance and live support. The team will help you to:

  • design the videoconferencing solution that fits your needs and budget
  • schedule rooms
  • coordinate room logistics (e.g. arrange for health care staff to be present to operate clinical peripherals, etc.); and
  • troubleshoot technical issues, if necessary.

Free service

Videoconferencing, scheduling, clinical coordination, recording, and technical support services are all provided to you free of charge.

Clinical workflows

You can enrich your practice with Telehealth.

Help patients feel comfortable with Telehealth

Specialists have come up with creative ways to integrate Telehealth into their workflows.

“I developed a short bio of myself to describe to Telehealth patients so I would appear 'real'. I found patients liked this so much that I adopted this for all new patients that I saw no matter on Telehealth or face-to-face.”
–Brian Weinerman, MD, Executive Medical Director for Community Hospitals, Pharmacy, Imaging and Laboratory, Island Health Authority, Victoria

Integrate Telehealth into your existing workflow 

Some specialists create Telehealth clinics and designate blocks of time, like entire mornings or afternoons, to meet with their Telehealth patients, while others weave their Telehealth patients into their in-person clinics.

“I actually did a pilot project and then a trial of Telehealth because patients and their families were telling me of the difficulties in travelling, the costs and the concerns about being away from family, friends and supports at some of the most challenging times of their lives. I integrated Telehealth into my clinic rather than having a special Telehealth clinic. In other words, I would see a patient face-to-face and the next patient would be on Telehealth. I used the same charting, left orders in the same way, etc.”
–Brian Weinerman,MD, Executive Medical Director for Community Hospitals, Pharmacy, Imaging and Laboratory, Island Health Authority, Victoria

Provide critical treatment right when it's needed

One of the most significant contributions Telehealth makes to underserviced areas is access to timely urgent care.

"I recently saw a young man in a small rural community who was acting very strangely. He started to hear voices when there was no one there, and accused people of persecuting him. He was quickly brought to my attention and I saw him using Telehealth. I diagnosed him with a psychotic disorder (a serious type of mental illness) and ordered treatment for him to begin immediately. Within a week, he started to feel better and behave normally again. His family thanked me for our prompt intervention. Without it, I am fairly certain that he could have hurt himself or someone else, and would likely have been forced into treatment by the local authorities. We avoided all of that unpleasantness by seeing him quickly, starting him on the appropriate treatment, and educating his local care providers on what to look out for to make sure he stays well.” – Matthew Chow, MD, Medical Director, E-Mental Health Services and Strategy, BC Children’s Hospital & BC Women’s Health Centre, Vancouver

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SOURCE: Using Telehealth ( )
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