A network of healthcare providers are bringing more care to residents in Hamilton’s long term care homes. Using telephone connection or secure videoconferencing, LTC residents and their care teams will have access to emergency department (ED) physicians and follow-up by other medical specialists and nurses when required. The new service will reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 to LTC residents by removing the need to travel and wait in an emergency department.
Primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and community paramedics caring for Long Term Care residents now have the ability to call a central number to request a virtual visit or telephone call with an emergency department physician. ED physicians from both Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton will be available on a rotating basis 24/7 to respond to these requests.
“A tremendous level of team work has made this service a reality in record time and one of the first of its kind in Ontario,” says Dr. Mohamed Panju, A-CTU Director at Boris Clinic, and Virtual Care for LTC Initiative Co-Lead. “We all know that keeping our most vulnerable populations safe is critical now during the pandemic and beyond. Together, we will be able to bring more resources to these individuals in the comfort of their homes.”
The initiative was being tried out at Hamilton Health Sciences prior to the pandemic and officially launched this week.