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Alisha Ramlogan



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    OS02 - Venues of Virtual Care (ID 2)

    • Event: e-Health 2019 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Clinical Delivery
    • Presentations: 1
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      OS02.03 - Breaking Down Barriers:The Perinatal Mental Health Telemedicine Program (ID 273)

      Alisha Ramlogan, Sinai Health System; Toronto/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Purpose/Objectives:
      The literature indicates that during pregnancy and the postpartum period, women have a very high incidence of new onset mood and anxiety disorders and high relapse rates for pre-existing psychiatric disorders. However, only 33-50% of women receive services provided by existing community groups, which do not always identify, monitor or treat the mental illness. These women often end up going to emergency departments or do not access services at all. The objectives of the program are the following: 1) Increase accessibility to specialized perinatal mental health services in the community 2) Develop and promote an appropriate interdisciplinary care pathway to serve women with perinatal mental health concerns 3) Promote perinatal mental health knowledge and skills translation to community care providers through various educational activities including telemedicine 4) Strengthen collaboration of hospital and community service providers in providing community-based services 5) Improve patient and family and provider satisfaction with the delivery of an improved consultative experience using telemedicine technology


      Methodology/Approach:
      With the use of Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) technology, the Perinatal Mental Health Telemedicine Program has been able to provide ongoing follow-up and support for patients in their own homes. Telemedicine allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote locations using telecommunications technology. It is an efficient and cost effective way for patients to access specialized perinatal mental health care without the associated costs of travel from their home environment.


      Finding/Results:
      Performance indicators include the number of unique patients who engage in the program as well the total number of telemedicine events. By the end of fiscal year 2017-2018, the total number of telemedicine events was 1326. This exceeded the telemedicine numbers during the previous year, which were 1245 events. In terms of new unique patients who were seen via telemedicine, the final count was 198. In addition to this, the program has also obtained other metrics including patient satisfaction with telemedicine. For fiscal year 2016-2017, 399 surveys have been sent out with a total of 133 responses (33.3% response rate). Based on the responses, there is a high level of satisfaction. Some of the positive feedback from telemedicine patients include: ?It's very simple to use. I really like it and feel very grateful for this service. It has allowed me to receive a closer psychiatric monitoring of my health condition without adding additional stress and without spending time and money on transportation." and ?An absolutely fantastic program that enables people like me who live in smaller cities to access the resources traditionally afforded to only those in large cities (without the hassle of travel)."


      Conclusion/Implications/Recommendations:
      Through the implementation of telemedicine, the Perinatal Mental Health program has been able to reach deeper into the community to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients both within the TC-LHIN and in remote locations across the province. In terms of spread, the central focus of the telemedicine program include further outreach to various community partners, including family health teams and community health centers in order to provide consultations, education and case conferences leveraging telemedicine technology.


      140 Character Summary:
      The Perinatal Mental Health Program aims to improve access to perinatal mental health services and promote capacity building by leveraging the use of telemedicine.

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