Health Minister Christine Elliott announces provincial plan to expand virtual health care on Nov. 13 at Credit Valley Hospital

The Waterloo Record has published an article on the success of the eHealth Centre of Excellence’s virtual visits pilot program in Waterloo-Wellington region. The project uses Think Research’s VirtualCare platform.

VirtualCare is being deployed to connect patients with their existing primary care provider through a secure audio, video, and messaging platform. By working with eCE, VirtualCare has powered nearly 17,000 visits — the most virtual visits in any region across the province. Other project partners include OTN and the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network. 

The article, published November 19, 2019, notes other program highlights:

Both health-care providers and patients are seeing the advantages. Patients are happy with the time it saves getting to an appointment, and doctors find it’s an efficient way to communicate with patients.

The pilot found the ease of virtual care meant patients are more likely to reach out to their doctor than go to a walk-in clinic or emergency department — both options that cost more.

Virtual care also means doctors can see two to four more patients a day in the office, which creates openings for patients with more immediate issues.

Minister Elliot praised the program on Twitter and pledged additional funding for digital health initiatives that will enable a greater number of clinicians across Ontario deliver care more efficiently using VirtualCare.

Think Research is also an active and engaged partner participating in other digital health initiatives in the Waterloo-Wellington region, including the System Coordinated Access Program (SCA) with eCE, CognisantMD and the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP). Together, the partners have improved access to care for patients across the province by implementing and expanding the Ocean eReferral Network, a secure, EMR-integrated electronic referral system. 

To learn more about VirtualCare in Ontario and across Canada, visit our VirtualCare page.

To learn more about eReferrals in Ontario, visit our eReferrals page