After successfully completing an eVisit Pilot Program in 2018, Dr. Ramana Appireddy, stroke neurologist and medical director at KHSC’s Stroke Prevention Clinic, advocates for the benefits of digital health.
“Digital health initiatives like eVisits benefit everyone involved,” says Appireddy. “Patients save time, money and potentially hazardous driving conditions for a quick eVisit with their physician, while the hospital saves clinic space and resources.”
Appireddy noted it typically costs patients about $50 every time they attend an appointment at the hospital. These costs may include parking, driving, loss of wage, childcare, etc. These costs are eliminated when eVisits are utilized.
eVisits are administered through a secure web platform provided by the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). It offers patients the ability to include up to six additional participants (family, caregivers, or other health care team members) in other locations and other devices on the videoconference.
This technology enables physicians to see more patients in a day and still have the quality face-to-face time needed for these types of appointments. It can be used for any follow-up appointments that do not require a physical examination.
“My patients are stoke victims, typically 65+ in age and often need assistance with technology. However, the eVisit tool is very easy to use. My team contacts the patient and/or family member by phone to help set up an eVisit account. Once this is done, I can connect with my patients from the comfort of their home.”
Since the pilot project finished, eVisits have been adopted by all three stroke neurologists in the KHSC Stroke Prevention Clinic (Dr. Shirin Jalini and Dr. Albert Jin). Appireddy has seen a 30% conversion rate for all follow up appointments and is hopeful for significant expansion of the program throughout KHSC.
Specialty areas such as epilepsy, movement disorders, obstetrics and endocrinology have all started using this technology. The epilepsy team has gone as far as to give up clinic space because the program is functioning so well.
Interested in learning more about incorporating eVisits into your practice. Reach out to a member of our Digital Health Support Team.