Using virtual care to reach our patients
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.
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.