Ontario’s healthcare system wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for the leadership of healthcare providers who have helped develop, test and deploy new technologies to improve care delivery. Yesterday, the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) awarded Trina Diner, Manager of Palliative Care and Telemedicine at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), a Champion of Telemedicine award for her outstanding leadership in advancing patient care in North West Ontario.
Telemedicine is the use of technology for patients to receive care remotely, without needing to go to the doctor’s office, and it is changing the way patients are treated in Ontario. In the last two years, the North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) was responsible for connecting patients in the region with care more than 52,000 times – the second most out of all regions, accounting for 17% of all telemedicine events in Ontario.
With over two decades of experience in the technology arena, Trina has played an integral role testing new telemedicine technologies in Northwestern Ontario. She has become enraptured with how technology can be used to break down barriers for patients in their homes, and thinks innovatively about how it can provide better care to patients. Within her own work, she has openly adopted telemedicine as a tool to help palliative care patients receive care in their home.
Her romantic notion was marrying health care with mobile technology. Over months, her team tested a model in which physicians communicated with patients and families in their homes through tablets. The tests found weekly virtual meetings with physicians improved patient anxiety and autonomy.
“The magic in this model is that there’s no clinician with the patient and family. They’re by themselves. They’re independent and able to have their visits with their physicians,” Diner explained. “When you’re involved with telemedicine that way and you see the benefit for the patient and for the family, it’s hard not to be passionate about it.”
In addition to Trina Diner, OTN is recognizing 14 other healthcare professionals across Ontario with this award. Individuals were nominated by OTN’s front-line staff and community partners based on their ongoing achievements and efforts in leading and inspiring the adoption of telemedicine, bringing forth new ideas and innovative solutions, and reinforcing quality of care to positively impact patients.
“Each award winner has pioneered the adoption of telemedicine solutions in various healthcare settings across the province,” says Ed Brown, CEO, OTN. “Their forward-thinking, hard work and commitment to integrating innovative technologies into their communities has formed one of the largest networks of connected care providers in the world and has paved the way for a new model of care – one that puts the patient first.”
The world leader in telemedicine, OTN helps Ontarians get more out of the health care system by bridging the distance of time and geography to bring more patients the care they need, where and when they need it. Using innovative technology, OTN streamlines the healthcare process, while also expanding the way knowledge is shared and how the medical community interacts with each other and with patients. An independent, not-for-profit organization, OTN is funded by the Government of Ontario and Canada Health Infoway. For more information please visit www.otn.ca and www.otnresults.ca.
For more information on OTN’s Champion of Telemedicine Awards please contact: