The virtual care access toolkit (VCAT) project is a patient-oriented research project co-designed with patientHeadshot of Dr. Ramana Appireddy partners. Dr. Appireddy says, “The aim of the project was to identify the barriers faced by adults, their caregivers and families while accessing virtual care and to develop resources in the form of a toolkit to address those barriers.” The toolkit can be used by patients, care givers and the public in our region to improve their understanding and education of how to prepare for and successfully engage in a virtual care encounter. 

Dr. Appireddy worked with patient partners, Anne O’Riordan and Angela Morin from Kingston Health Sciences Centre Patient and Family Advisory Council, patient-oriented research experts Elizabeth McAvoy and Veronica Lloyd from the KGH Research Institute, research team members Sophy Chan and Aarti Vyas and knowledge translation specialist Nanci Corrigan. “The inspiration for this work is we identified virtual care offered a lot of convenience to the patients, but at the same time, many patients and caregivers didn’t have access to information or resources to understand how to prepare for a virtual care appointment and get the most out of this form of connecting with their health care providers,” Dr. Appireddy says. 

According to Dr. Appireddy, virtual care is here to stay and has the potential to add a lot of value to the overall delivery of health care in Canada. “It is very important for patients to be empowered to receive maximum benefit from these now mainstay virtual care services,” he says. “By working with patients to create this educational toolkit, we ensure the material is relevant and addresses patient-identified needs.” 

To learn more about the project, watch this video

To access parts of the toolkit, click the links below:

Is a virtual health care appointment right for my medical condition?

Choice and privacy during a virtual health care appointment

How to prepare for a virtual health care appointment