Telemedicine

Telemedicine is the method of providing healthcare, health information and health education across a distance; be it across the street, across the city, across the province, or even across continents.

Using Telecommunications technology and specially adapted equipment such as “blue tooth enabled” stethoscopes, exam cameras and endoscopes, physicians, nurses, and health care specialists’ are able to assess, diagnose and treat patients without requiring them to be physically present in the same location.

By using two-way video cameras health-care professionals have been successfully able to communicate with each other, and with their patients, while reducing or removing the need for travel. Through this technology, and other health technology valuable medical data can also be transferred electronically between specialists and the health-care team at CGMH; often at the time of the telemedicine appointment.

Clinical Telemedicine Services have expanded to meet the needs of the Collingwood G&M Hospital community.

They include, but are not limited to:

Adult Telepsychiatry

The Telepsychiatry program currently offers psychiatric services for both adult and pediatric patients in Collingwood Catchment area. The service aims makes use of the confidential Ontario Telemedicine Network, to increase access to psychiatric consultation. Consultation provides family, youth/child with recommendations and a treatment plan that assists family physicians to coordinate various forms of ongoing care and support.

Oncology

The telemedicine Oncology program currently provided by RVH Oncology and CGMH enables patients within the CGMH community to have their blood work drawn locally, complete pre-treatment assessments and see their Oncologist without having to drive to leave the CGMH parking lot. “The ability to reduce emotional and financial stress for our residents is one of the major benefits” – Jill Tettmann, CEO of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN)

Pediatric Telepsychiatry

Telemedicine connects children, families and consulting doctors using state of the art live, two-way, audio/ video for assessment, reducing travel time and expense. Typically when the behaviour of children becomes a concern to parents, an assessment opens up question about what the behaviour reveals and how best to improve behaviours.

OTN allows this to be provided locally. It is especially useful in areas where specialized psychiatric care is unavailable. The goal is to continue collaborative efforts with local primary care providers to improve access to pediatric psychiatry, medication and medication management, while providing:

Medically based assessment care for the full range of child health issues that can cause difficulties with concentration, learning, low or unpredictable mood or symptoms of underlying complications that could become urgent.

Teledermatology

By using digital cameras and web based browsers supported by OTN , CGMH is now able to provide patient access to Ontario dermatologist consults within 5 days. Ask your doctor if this is appropriate for you? What happens at a Telemedicine appointment?

A Telemedicine appointment is similar to a regular visit, the only difference being that you will see and talk to the doctor through a television screen. Your appointment will take place in a private room and all information is treated within strict privacy guidelines.

  • Once the patient has checked into the telemedicine site, the local Telemedicine Coordinator will explain the process and the equipment to the patient.
  • The patient may be asked to change into a hospital gown, depending on the type of appointment. The length of the appointment will vary depending on the discipline and Physician.
  • Time-saving video technologies and electronic diagnostic equipment such as patient exam cameras and digital stethoscopes work together to allow patients to be assessed as if they were there in person.
  • Typically, the Telemedicine Coordinator will stay in the room with the patient for the consultation, and sometimes the local Physician or Health Care Provider may attend as well. The patient is welcome to bring a family member or friend with them.
  • The examination can only be seen and heard by those involved in the consultation - at both the patient's location and the consultant's site.

How do I get a Telemedicine appointment?

  • Ask your healthcare provider if a telemedicine visit is appropriate for you. Telemedicine is useful for many appointments, but may not be appropriate for all. The specialist will make that determination at the time of the referral.
  • Referrals will be made by the specialist to the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) scheduling department and OTN will then contact you directly with your appointment date and time.
  • For more Information about the program or questions regarding your appointment please contact Melanie Crawford, RN and clinical coordinator for CGMH
  • Phone: (705) 445-2550 x8202, Email: telemedicine@cgmh.on.ca

Where is Telemedicine located?

  • The Telemedicine Studio at CGMH within the Ambulatory care Clinic.
  • If you have a schedule consult please check in at the Central Registration desk 10 minutes before your appointment. You’ll then be directed to the Ambulatory Care waiting room where the coordinator will meet you.

Contact Us

For more information about the CGMH Telemedicine program or if you are an organization that is interested in the use of Telemedicine services, please contact us at 705-445-2550 x 8202 or email: telemedicine@cgmh.on.ca

For more information about the Ontario Telemedicine Network click here: http://otn.ca/en