In our current time of uncertainty, many of us have questions, and one of them may be, “how am I going to connect with my patients, when I can’t see them in my office?” As the world grapples with the implications of COVID-19, we find ourselves at a pivotal point in the delivery of healthcare; one that has been moving along slowly but surely, but is now being called to accelerate and rise to the challenge - virtual healthcare delivery.
Virtual healthcare allows patients and healthcare practitioners to connect in ways that are critical right now:
- Access to on-demand consultations for triage and assessment, keeping patients out of extremely busy emergency rooms, and providing immediate information to people worried about their state of health in unusual times
- Enabling patient prescriptions and renewals without having an in-person visit
- Providing medical advice on a remote basis, while seeing the patient face-to-face via video
- Allowing patients with chronic illnesses to have their care monitored, without having to risk exposure to other conditions
As a physician, a surgeon, and a researcher, I know how critical it is to remain connected to patients in a time of crisis. I am grateful we are in a time where these options are available to practitioners and patients alike; it's our opportunity to accelerate and embrace virtual healthcare.
Dr. Karen Cross MD, PhD, FRCSC is a Surgeon-Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, the CEO of MIMOSA Diagnostics Inc., an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and an adjunct professor at Ryerson University.
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