Telemedicine is the delivery of health care from a distance using virtual technology. Also known as virtual health care, telemedicine helps people access the care they need when and where they need it.
By maximizing access to care and minimizing travel and wait times, virtual care makes health care delivery more human, efficient, and equitable. Working together with patients, primary care providers, and specialists, we can provide more care options and innovative solutions that help improve access to specialized care and reduces pressure on hospitals.
In our fast-paced world, the convenience of telemedicine is remarkable. Patients can save time, money and the inconvenience of travelling to receive health care close to home.
The Telemedicine Department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre uses secure technology, to connect patients with healthcare professionals using the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and Keewaytinook Okimakanak EHealth Telemedicine Services (KOTM).
Virtual Care can occur in many different ways:
- Patients in Thunder Bay can connect to a health care provider elsewhere in Ontario using eVisits. You can see a health care provider via secure video from Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Telemedicine, your computer at home, or on-the-go via tablet or smartphone.
- Patients living in rural Ontario can meet with a health care provider located in Thunder Bay using eVisits as well. Please refer to the map that shows where you can go to access assisted virtual care.
- Telemedicine consultations may include advanced technology including connecting a wireless stethoscope for listening to heart or lung sounds, or a high definition camera with powerful zoom to view superior medical images over thousands of miles.
- Patients can meet health care providers, such as an education event with a Registered Dietitian, a counselling session with a Registered Social Worker or a follow up appointment with a Nurse Practitioner.
- Virtual technology can also be used to host professional education events including workshops, conferences, and meetings.
- Tele-Visitation, allows patients admitted to hospital to visit with loved ones anywhere in the world using a tablet or virtual device.
- Tele-Derm, is a service that provides physicians and nurse practitioners with timely recommendations by ordering photographs to be taken by a Telemedicine Nurse and securely sent to a Dermatologist based in Ontario using OTN’s store forward service.
- ASL (American Sign Language) and language interpretation services are available through virtual technology for patients at TBHRSC.
All Telemedicine appointments must be requested by your health care provider. Nursing support is available for appointment hosted at TBRHSC. If you prefer to not travel for an appointment, ask your provider if they are able to schedule you a virtual appointment.
In some cases, your health care provider may not be familiar with Telemedicine. You can forward them OTN’s Customer Care number at 1-855-654-0888 or email us at email@example.com and we will assist them.