You can enrich your practice 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
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
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