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Danika Walden

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    OS07 - Spectrum of Virtual Care (ID 11)

    • Event: e-Health 2019 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Technical/Interoperability
    • Presentations: 1
    • Coordinates: 5/27/2019, 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM, Pod 6
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      OS07.03 - Virtual Visits: Delivering Primary Care Through Innovation (ID 271)

      Danika Walden, eHealth Centre of Excellence; Waterloo/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Virtual visits have shown promising results in supporting a patient-centered healthcare system, with the potential of moderating primary care costs over time1. The objective of this presentation is to illustrate an approach for deployment and lessons learned from implementing an innovative virtual care technology in primary care settings, as well as to highlight the outcomes and benefits of virtual visits for both patients and providers.

      Virtual care technology conveniently connects patients with their primary care provider, for appropriate concerns, over a secure, online communication system via chat messaging, phone or video, providing the opportunity to create efficiencies and improve access to primary care. Providers were engaged in the clinical model design and solution development to ensure that the technology meets their needs and is user-friendly. To support integration of virtual visits into clinical workflow and reduce barriers to adoption for providers, direct feedback from providers was continuously collected to inform enhancements to the solution. A change management framework was used with a focus on working with providers as partners to support the uptake of the technology. To better understand both the provider and patient experience with using virtual visits, user surveys were provisioned which assessed the value of virtual visits related to factors such as convenience, access, efficiency and navigation.

      Leveraging existing relationships with providers and establishing a comprehensive approach for end user engagement was a key factor in the implementation of virtual visits. Change management support was critical to the integration of virtual visits into provider workflow and contributed to them more actively promoting the service and enrolling their patients. Within 6 months of going live with the virtual visits solution, 56 primary care providers and 30 support staff registered for the solution, over 2600 patients were enrolled and over 2100 visits completed. Preliminary results of the user experience surveys indicate that virtual visits make accessing care more convenient for patients and saved them time, while providers spoke to the use of virtual visits to enhance efficiencies in their office and increase capacity to see more patients. Providers also expressed additional value in the ability to initiate the visit with their patient for reasons such as following up on test results or following up on a previous in-person appointment.

      Complementary to existing workflows, the integration of virtual visits in primary care settings has shown benefits to both patients and providers related to convenience and improved access to care. Using a targeted approach to user engagement and adoption, primary care providers are able to understand how a virtual visits solution integrates into their workflows and context of their practice model, as the value proposition varied depending on organizational structure. The involvement of users throughout the design and development of the technical solution ensured user buy-in, acceptance and adoption of the virtual visits innovation.

      140 Character Summary:
      Developing and implementing a virtual care solution for primary care: lessons learned and impact on patients and providers.

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