Ontario moves towards 'virtual' doctor visits

 

How do you feel about visiting your doctor without leaving your home?

The Ford government says its newly launched “Digital First for Health” strategy was launched to end hallway healthcare by making health care simpler, easier, and more convenient for patients, while also utilizing the capabilities of the province's digital health innovators to improve residents' care.

The strategy will be comprised of five components that will use the digital tools available in an effort to streamline the health care process.

Some of the benefits of the strategy include: providing more virtual care options, including virtual visits--which will allow patients to see a doctor without physically going to a hospital, providing patients with more options when it comes to booking appointments online, providing patients with more access to their digital records to allow them to stay informed about their health, and providing better data integration and access to records for front-line workers.

Ontario is adopting new digital practices and technologies that will improve the patient experience and help end hallway health care by expanding access to digital and virtual care options,” Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said in a news release.

Ed Brown, CEO of Ontario Telemedicine Network added, “Ontario is already a world leader in providing specialized care video visits to patients at health care facilities across the province, improving access to care in our most northern and rural communities,”

The government is investing $3 million towards the first phase of this initiative, which will increase video conferences with physicians by 55,000 within the next year. Further, it will allow health care professionals to collect, use, and share patient information more seamlessly for better patient care.

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