Canada’s ‘new normal’ must include virtual care

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  • Dennis Giokas says:

    Thanks Rashaad, a nice piece. I agree with you.

    It is interesting over time how the “firsts” change, and appropriately so. Canadian healthcare has had a number of firsts over the last 20 years. I recall seeing strategies and vision statements state:
    EHR first
    EMR first
    Patient first
    Mobile first
    Digital first

    Now it is (or should be)
    Virtual care first
    and appropriately so.

    Maybe when we get to the tipping point of Virtual CARE first we can all rally around
    WELLness first.

  • Sandeep Dhawan says:

    Good insight into virtual healthcare in Canada. There need to be good synergy between the available infrastructure and the healthcare to make this successful. A good deal of awareness among the patients is required for them to take up this virtual healthcare system.

  • Darren Cargill says:

    Great article Dr. Bhyat.

    Our palliative medicine program used to do exclusively home visits. We gave patients a window for our arrival, similar to the cable company.

    As a result of virtual care, we have increased our patient roster by 30%, doubled our daily visits, cut our wait time from 5 to 3 days. We are having more frequent contact with patients and same day/next day appointments are always available when necessary. While we still provide home visits, we redoing about 80% virtual (telephone/VC) and 20% visits. We have criteria for flagging visits best done in person (ESL, cognitive impairment, no internet access, etc).

    Overall, access to our program has never been higher and both provider and patient/family satisfaction is high.

    Yes, this should be the new normal.


Rashaad Bhyat


Dr. Rashaad Bhyat serves as Clinician Leader on the Engagement team at Canada Health Infoway. He is a family physician with a passion for digital health and currently practices in an EMR-enabled family medicine clinic in the Greater Toronto Area.

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