Videoconferencing technology is reducing the distance that some patients have to travel for medical appointments.
The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) allows a patient the opportunity to see a specialist and/or a clinical team for an initial assessment, follow up appointment, or therapeutic education, via a confidential videoconference. The technology is similar to a Skype or Face Time call, except this videoconference system is encrypted to protect privacy.
Telemedicine appointments can take place at Southlake or satellite locations.
What Happens at a Telemedicine Appointment
The Telemedicine session is like a regular appointment, except the physician, or healthcare provider, are in one location and the patient is in separate location. They speak with and see each other through television screens. Appointments take place in a private room at Southlake. The patient can only be seen and heard by those directly involved in the appointment at both locations.
A nurse will be present with the patient and explain how the system works and facilitate the videoconference between the patient and physician or other healthcare professionals.
The nurse, at the request of the physician, can perform any assessments that are needed during the videoconference. The physician, nurse, and any other healthcare professionals that take part in the conference, will have the relevant information to support the patient’s telemedicine visit prior to the appointment.
Electronic diagnostic equipment, such as a patient exam camera or digital stethoscope, allow for a thorough exam to be completed via videoconference.
The following telemedicine services are offered at Southlake:
- Fracture Clinic
- Internal Medicine
- Stroke Prevention
Patient Education Classes
The following telemedicine classes are offered at Southlake:
- Osteoporosis Workshop
- Osteoarthritis Education Program
- Fibromyalgia Classes
- Stress Management Workshop
- Craving Change Workshop
- Weight Management Workshop
- Cardiac Rehabilitation Education
Patients can have their skin condition reviewed by a dermatologist over the Telemedicine network without having to travel to a specialist. Using a designated camera and trained healthcare professional, pictures are taken of the patient’s lesion and uploaded on the Telederm system. The picture is then sent electronically to a dermatologist where it is reviewed and a diagnosis and treatment plan are returned via the same secure system.
About the Ontario Telemedicine Network
Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to support clinical, educational and administrative telemedicine services for the province of Ontario. The cost of a Telemedicine appointment is covered under OHIP for Ontario residents.
For more information about Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN):
Visit www.otn.ca or call 1-866-454-OTN-1 (6861) or contact us at Southlake Regional Health Centre 905-895-4521, ext. 6027 or ext. 6667.
Read more about telemedicine in the Central Local Health Integration Network’s newsletter LHINfo Minute.