At Women’s College Hospital we are revolutionizing healthcare for the 21st century to deliver better access, improved outcomes and next level patient experience. As part of our commitment to innovation and continual improvement, we launched Women’s Virtual, Canada’s first virtual hospital, in November 2019.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have accelerated our virtual care capabilities to ensure that we are able to care for patients safely and respond to the needs of our community during this public health emergency.
Virtual Care Programs
Working with our health system partners, WCH has developed a series of virtual care programs focused on enhancing care, as well as supporting and working with providers in primary care and long-term care.
As demand on acute care resources including emergency departments and inpatient beds increase, most symptomatic yet stable patients need to monitor their COVID-19 symptoms at home. An innovative, primary care led initiative, COVIDCare@Home is building practical digital pathways and tools for primary care providers as they support their patients with COVID-19.
COVIDCare@Home provides real-time support to primary care providers and patients through phone or video visits, and practical tools that providers can use to monitor their own patients if they prefer to do so. Remote monitoring of patients with COVID-19 allows providers to ensure that patients receive the education support they need, and it also enables them to act quickly and escalate care should a patient's health deteriorates.
A virtual care hub housed at WCH puts just-in-time resources in the hands of providers enabling them to better address their patient’s medical, mental health and social needs. This includes remote home monitoring equipment, immediate virtual specialist consultation, coordination of home-based services and more.
To learn more, please visit: CovidCareatHome.ca.
The SCOPE program provides primary care providers with a single point of access to a virtual interdisciplinary care team. Family physicians and nurse practitioners registered with SCOPE can connect to local specialists, imaging, and community services, to serve their patients with complex care needs.
To learn more, please visit the SCOPE webpage.
Aging in Place
Our Aging in Place program partners with long-term care (LTC) homes and community providers to allow older adults to age at home, where they want to be.
Our first Aging in Place initiative is LTC+, a virtual care program that connects LTC nursing staff and physicians to virtual consultations with medical specialists 24/7 and advanced practice nursing. The initiative also provides the LTC team with access to other services, such as the availability of STAT labs and community paramedicine, that enables them to provide high-quality care to residents in the LTC home setting and avoid unnecessary transfers to hospitals.
As we all now know, seniors and those with compromised immune systems need to be particularly careful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reducing unnecessary ED transfers is an important step towards protecting their health and reducing the spread of COVID-19. LTC+ will be available to all 37 LTC homes in the Toronto area.
Virtual Care Services
Women’s Virtual is integrating a variety of digital health tools, like online peer support groups and video visits, into WCH’s existing clinical areas in a phased approach over the next three years. Enabling WCH to enhance our health services and ensure that patients get care in whichever way best addresses their needs.
Part of our virtual strategy is ensuring that patients who need care continue to receive it in a manner that is safe and responsive without having to leave home. Today the majority of our clinics are virtually enabled via phone, video or secure messaging. These services have been ramped up in response to COIVD-19.
Most of our clinics across the hospital are utilizing video visits to enhance access and continuity of care for patients. To learn how to conduct a video visit, please visit the video visits instructions page.
eConsult allows physicians and nurse practitioners to connect virtually with specialist colleagues to gain advice on patient care. Leveraging this tool, allows providers to get
timely advice and often eliminates the need for an in-person specialist visit. WCH is the regional lead for eConsult in the Toronto central region. In this role, our Women’s Virtual team works to on-board and support providers in using this digital tool.
To learn more, visit: econsultontario.ca/
Virtual Revolution - Heather's CEO Blog
Virtual Care - We Are Women's Report
How WCH is Leveraging Virtual Care to Address COVID-19 - WCH Connect