Operations and Implementation

ePoster Presentation

(EP-146) Telemedicine Nurses Supporting New Models of Virtual Care in Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, April 25
10:15 AM - 10:29 AM
Location: Experience Zone - ePosters

Objectives
In 2011, the Government of Ontario announced the funding for 191 net-new Telemedicine Nurse (TMN) roles dedicated to supporting patient access through virtual technologies as part of the broader health human resources strategy. Implementation models varied between organizations, including TMNs focused on supporting patients and those supporting clinicians. The objectives of this study are:
• To analyze the impact that funded Telemedicine Nurses have had in virtual visit adoption within their host organizations
• To inform further Health Human Resource planning


Methods
Utilization data from organizations with funded TMNs between FY 2009/2010 and FY 2014/15 were reviewed and compared to organizations without funded TMNs. Three key indicators were analyzed comparing pre/post results: Number of Therapeutic Areas of Care (TACs) being supported at the organization; Number of consultants conducting telemedicine events; and Telemedicine utilization at the site. In addition, sites were categorized as legacy (have conducted virtual events prior to TMN hire), or new (first TM event happened after TMN hire).

Results
Significant differences were found depending on the nature of the TMN’s role. Organizations where the funded TMN supports consultants show a greater increase in the number of TACs offered and number of consultants offering telemedicine services. However, this effect was moderated depending on whether TMNs were situated at legacy or new sites.
Organizations with funded TMNs supporting patients also have a greater increase in number of TACs supported and show a greater number of consultants connecting to the patient sites. Both legacy and new TMN patient sites show increased growth in patient activities after TMN launch and overall telemedicine activity growing at a faster rate compared to sites without a TMN.


Conclusion
Overall, telemedicine nurses have had a positive effect on the adoption of virtual visits and increased access to virtual care, but success varies depending on the nature of TMN support and the telemedicine maturity of the host organization. In new organizations where the TMN supports the clinicians, and were attempting to implement new clinical programs, the results show lower uptake when compared to self-starting organizations without TMNs. In conclusion, this study suggests areas of focus where telemedicine clinical resources can be implemented to effectively expand the telemedicine network and improve patient access.

Cory Russell

Manager, Analytics and Reporting
Ontario Telemedicine Network

Cory Russell, MSC, MPA, PMP is the Manager of Analytics and Reporting at the Ontario Telemedicine Network. Cory has been in the Canadian healthcare analytics field for over 15 years. Experience gained through positions in government, hospitals, and crown agencies in multiple provinces have given him special insight into the nature of data consumption within healthcare in Canada. Cory holds a Masters of Science in Epidemiology as well as a Masters of Public Administration. He is also a Project Management Professional.

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Sally Cheung

Analytics Specialist
Ontario Telemedicine Network

Sally Cheung is an Analytics Specialist at Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). Her focus is on utilizing data analytics to support corporate and virtual care strategy decision-making and performance improvement in health care. She provides analysis and interpretation on a wide range of areas including the Telemedicine Nurse Program, the Northern Health Travel Grant strategy and overall telemedicine utilization.
Prior to joining OTN, Sally was in the Performance Measurement and Reporting department at Health Quality Ontario, where she assisted in the development of the Primary Care Performance Measurement Framework.
Sally holds a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology/Economics (BSc) from the University of Waterloo.

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(EP-146) Telemedicine Nurses Supporting New Models of Virtual Care in Ontario, Canada



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