Using virtual care to reach our patients

Susan Moffatt-Bruce
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

Leave a comment on my blog, email me at or follow me on Twitter @smoffattbruce1

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Avatar 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)
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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?
Avatar 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
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