As Scarborough Health Network (SHN) continues to invest in the specific health needs of our community, patients and families can now access their health care appointments from wherever is most convenient through VirtualVisits, thanks to an expanded partnership with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).

SHN’s Cardio-Oncology clinic kicked off this service expansion on June 21, with Dr. Kibar Yared, Medical Director, Cardio-Oncology, and team conducting VirtualVisits consultations with two patients and their families from the comfort of their homes.

“As a physician, what we want most of all for our patients is comfort and ease of transition through the health care system,” highlighted Dr. Yared. “To be able to provide this option for our patients helps to ease worry surrounding travel, transportation and costs, while still providing them with exceptional health care.”

Traditionally, stress, logistics, and sometimes the incapability of making travel accommodations would often lead to patients missing appointments. But with VirtualVisits, it’s easy for patients and their families to connect from different locations. In fact, the use of OTN and telemedicine has been shown to reduce no-show rates by about half, by eliminating travel barriers and costs for patients and families.

“Within a week of our initial launch we had a patient connect to their VirtualVisit from their home, and their daughter was able to connect from work,” shared Dr. Yared. “It allows family members, who often take time off work to attend medical appointments, to still be present during the appointment and reduces stress surrounding the care of their loved one.”

VirtualVisits can be used for patient consults, appointments, and follow-ups, and will spread to outpatient clinics across all three SHN hospitals, including palliative care, surgical pre/post-op, mental health, women’s and children’s health, cardiology, diabetes, and nephrology.