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Linda Bridges

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    OS16 - Unleashing Telehealth (ID 26)

    • Event: e-Health 2019 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Clinical Delivery
    • Presentations: 1
    • Coordinates: 5/28/2019, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Pod 7
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      OS16.01 - Unlocking the Possibilities: Telehealth in Corrections (ID 506)

      Linda Bridges, Telehealth, Horizon Health Network; Saint John/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      While most health services and some specialty health services are provided within federal institutions, the majority of specialist consultations take place in the community. In 2010 the federal offender population in the Atlantic region demonstrated a significant increase. Two thirds of this offender population were in institutions within the geographic area served by Horizon Health Network (Horizon), New Brunswick?s largest Regional Health Authority. The increase resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of offenders visiting Horizon facilities, where many of the community specialists worked. To put this in perspective, during an 11 month period, 880 federal medical escorts from Westmorland Institution and Dorchester Penitentiary, two of New Brunswick?s correctional institutions, were performed. This was an average of 80 escorts per month. Analysis of these escorts determined that 294, or one third of these could have been completed using telehealth processes and technology. That year, Horizon and Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), resulting in a Telecorrections Partnership Project. The intended benefits were; to increase staff / patient safety by reducing and/or eliminating inmate transfers to The Moncton Hospital, provide an important opportunity for a broader range of medical specialists to deliver services via telehealth, and lastly to reduce security costs related to inmate transfers to and from this hospital.

      Clinical and technical team members worked together under rigorous project management to review exisiting referral patterns and technological challenges.The clinical focus was the provision of medical services by plastic surgery,general surgery and ENT specialists. Expansion to other specialties within the 12 month time frame of the project ocurred as opportunities were identified and parties were in agreement. The deliverables of the project were; that both connectivity and interoperability be established between the hospital and the two CSC sites laying the foundation for future expansion of telehealth between other hospitals in the NB and CSC facilities. This came to fruition based on the results documented in the Final Evaluation Report and development of a Telecorrections Tool Kit. Both health professionals and clients reported satisfaction with this mode of safe service delivery.

      Telecorrections has increased staff and patient safety by reducing or eliminating the need for inmate transfers to receive specialty care. Security costs and potential opportunity for elopement associated with escorts have been reduced. One tremendous advantage has been the ongoing knowledge transfer which occurs during these assessments for those CSC clinicians involved. Having these same clinicians present during sessions has been pivotal to maintain an open dialogue and general facilitation. This initiative provided the confidence and experience within Horizon to begin the recent provision of services to provincial correctional facilities as well.

      The Telecorrections model of care adheres to all national Telehealth Accreditation Standards and firmly established the practice of Telehealth in the CSC Atlantic Region. This presentation will describe the outcomes of this initiative and how Telehealth in Corrections continues to assist CSC Health Services in providing essential health services to offenders while contributing to public safety.

      140 Character Summary:
      Accessing scarce clinical resources to increase patient and public safety via the use of Telehealth.

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