Opinion

Virtual health care is having its moment. Rules will be needed.

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2 Comments
  • Rob Loney says:

    Fantastic contribution to this important and needed change in healthcare delivery. I’d welcome this excellent team of thought leaders to also explore how specialty care, historically delivered in hospital-based specialty clinics can/should be transitioned to community-based specialty clinics. I noted HHSC communication indicating 80% of outpatient services have been suspended during COVID. Perhaps the ideal time for a permanent re-think this, as well.

  • Dennis Giokas says:

    I agree with the points made. I assert there is a 6th key issue that needs to be addressed – User experience. I suggest this as a category for a number of policy issues. In no particular order:
    • Clinicians and patients deserve virtual care technology that is reliable, easy to use and appropriate. Audio channels, video channels, secure messaging, synchronous/asynchronous. Also technology that does not create a digital divide due to age, (dis-)ability, bandwidth, device, etc.
    • Procurements are long and expensive for both parties. Policy to keep current and pivot to new best in class solutions need to be considered.
    • Virtual can be anonymous at one extreme like Big White Wall for mental health to highly personalized actively managed by a clinician such as RPM.
    • Access to medical records by clinicians and patients needs to be resolved so care is delivered effectively and safely
    • “Apps” are virtual care too. Are they “prescribed”? Reimbursed? Part of accepted clinical guidelines? Colleges, CMPA and associations (for fee negotiations) would all have views on those questions.

Authors

Sacha Bhatia

Contributor

Dr. Sacha Bhatia is the director of the Institute of Health Systems Solutions and Virtual Care and a Staff Cardiologist at Women’s College and University Health Network.

Will Falk

Contributor

Will Falk is PwC Canada’s Managing Partner for Healthcare, A fellow at the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, and an Adjunct Professor at the Rotman School of Management.

Trevor Jamieson

Contributor

Trevor Jamieson is a general internist at St Michael’s Hospital and Virtual Care Lead at the Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health Systems Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV).

Carole Piovesan

Contributor

Carole Piovesan is a partner at INQ Data Law.

James Shaw

Contributor

James Shaw is research director of artificial intelligence, ethics and health at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics.

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