Using virtual care to reach our patients

February 11, 2020 | Author: Dr. Susan Moffatt-Bruce

According to a newly released report, there is overwhelming support by Canadian physicians to optimize access to, and the implementation of, virtual care in Canada.

Read the Virtual Care Task Force Report

This report is the outcome of a Virtual Care Task Force that was co-sponsored by the Royal College, the Canadian Medical Association and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. It details strategies and recommendations to promote a pan-Canadian approach to the delivery of publicly insured medical services by the Canadian medical community through virtual means.

It is an important contribution to an even more important conversation.

I am pleased to be back in Canada where I grew up and have strong roots. My father is a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and my mother was a registered nurse. I have lived on Canada’s east coast, west coast and in between. I have also lived and studied in England and in the United States. And in every place I have lived, there is one common health care issue that policy-makers and researchers grapple with: access to care, especially care from specialists.

Meet Dr. Susan Moffatt-Bruce, the Royal College’s new CEO

In addition to being a cardiothoracic surgeon and Royal College Fellow, I am also a health-outcomes researcher. I am very interested in understanding how to improve systems, in order to impact care for patients, and truly leveraging health care systems through continuous improvement.

In the midst of our current digital transformation, I think every specialist is thinking, not only of the potential impact of technology on our jobs, but of how we can use virtual care to better connect with each other and our patients.

Imagine if we could save patients from travelling two hours for a 10 minute appointment? Or easily connect rural physicians with specialists in other parts of the country?

Technology can make this possible but unless we start developing and applying it in a deliberate, equitable and cohesive way, gaps in access to care and continuity of care are going to widen and diverge.

I am very proud of the Royal College’s involvement and contributions to this Virtual Care Task Force Report. It has now been a little over a month since I became CEO. In the past five weeks, I have learned a great deal. I am proud to be a Fellow and we will work together to improve processes and align strategic initiatives.

In addition to the administrative onboarding, I have been impressed with the dedication, creativity and loyalty of Royal College staff, Fellows, volunteers and partners. Thank you for your commitment to Canada’s specialty health care system. Thank you for being part of these important conversations.

Together, we are reimagining care.

Please keep in touch

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balbhadar sood | February 13, 2020
welcome to challenging postion,your ideas are great re vitual care. My specialiy psychiatry is most suited for consultation,follow up and therapy.but process and resources need to be provided.Compensation to providers is essential . Balbhadar Sood .(Mississauga Ontario)
Dilini Vethanayagam | February 13, 2020
Hello Susan, Welcome on board, look forward to some positive changes within the College. AHS has been a leader in Alberta for virtual care via their province-wide telehealth services (including bridging into remote FN Communities as well as between provinces). Bigger question from me - How do we as RCPSC members plan on promoting and assisting with populating excellent primary care practitioners who provide continuity of care - as RCPSC partners with specialists / sub-specialists? We need discussions at the national level. As someone who went through a rotating internship through Dalhousie in the last year offered (like 85% of my med class did), how will the RCPSC support such partnerships and consider a return to such a stream, and / or a similar common PGY-1? This was definitely very effective to allow many individuals to practice in rural and remote communities - some stayed as GPs, others returned for specialization, albeit with a very different perspective.
Janet Kusler | February 12, 2020
Virtual care - absolutely. BUT - could we get a country wide platform do you think so we don't repeat the EMR debacle where there is no communication. How about we get ZOOM to guarantee a Canadian platform that is privacy compliant.
Albert J. Kirshen | February 12, 2020
Technology is nice, but somehow we are failing to properly communicate with our patients. We have turned into body part specialists, and repeatedly fail to look at the whole picture. In short, we fail as collaborators, and communicators. How does the College plan to change this?
Mariola Wierna | February 11, 2020
Thank you for the personal introduction and through that reaching out to us the Members, the personal opportunity of meeting you will no doubt be a valuable process. I live in Australia but would still like to extend my welcome to you and good wishes for an engaged and outcomes focused term for you that will bring you professional satisfaction and result in a new look at what the College can offer to its Members as well as Health outcomes to our patients. Warm Regards, Dr.Mariola Wierna
Clarence Guenter | February 11, 2020
Hi Susan, Congratulations and welcome to this important position! As a retired Fellow, and Professor Emeritus I applaud your emphasis on virtual care as well as outcomes. As a member of the broader community of health care consumers, permit me to suggest one other major focus that is commonly lacking: appropriateness and effectiveness. Outcomes research does not always include appropriateness. (Consider the most recent literature on resuscitation in the elderly.) Several years ago I published a small booklet intended for consumers: Ultimate Health, Finding It. It encourages us all to ask more questions before hastening to intervention. If you have interest I would happily send you a copy and it is available as an ebook through Amazon or Friesen Press. Wishing you a very successful and rewarding career in this new leadership role.
Orison. Alistair Thores | February 11, 2020
While I agree with the objectives you outline, particularly in view of my experience as a director of public health and clinician in BC and Ontario years ago and appreciate technology is making things we only dreamed of then possible, considerable caution will be needed to avoid abuses, in particular to safeguard confidentiality. It is pertinent that only California has recently passed a state law providing individuals may opt out of data sharing of personal data and only Florida so far to prohibit the passing on of genetic information derived from dna and other tests. In the latter case it had emerged test results provided commercially for family history enquiries had been sold on to insurers without knowledge and agreement to allow them to adjust premiums for the individuals. Regards
Greg Berry | February 11, 2020
Welcome. I have been using teleconsultation to serve the Inuit population in the north f Quebec for the last 3 years. It is a tool that has worked well (albeit with some snafus) and that I look forward to implementing for local patients in the near future. I applaud you for embracing this technology which has enormous potential for improving the access and ease of care we should be providing. Regards, G
Bernice Capusten | February 11, 2020
Congratulations! And good news for us. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. Bernice Capusten Red Deer, Alberta
Mateen Raazi | February 11, 2020
Hello Dr. Moffat-Bruce, First, welcome to your new role. Thanks for making Virutal Care part of your first RCPSC message. Given the geography and the population distribution in Saskatchewan as well as the single Saskatchewan Health Authority foundation transformation in our province, Virtual Care is an even more significant tool for us. I look froward to working and interacting with you in my ACUDA and RCPSC Specialty Committee work. Be well Mateen Raazi Dr. Mateen Raazi Provincial Head Anesthesiology University of Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Health Authority
Andrea Loewen | February 11, 2020
Thank you for the introduction Dr Moffat-Bruce I am a respirologist and sleep physician in Calgary, Alberta and Program Director for Sleep Disorder Medicine (a program that we hope to have accredited as a new AFC Sleep Disorder, our application is in progress). As I am also certified by the ABIM in Sleep Medicine it is interesting to compare and contrast the certification programs (in Sleep Medicine) and CME initiatives in the US and Canada. What I am interested in is how we can better set goals and monitor success and outcomes in the AFC programs so that we are truly "delivering better care through education". Andrea Loewen MD, FRCPC, DABIM