Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC) is now providing specialized care through a service called Telemedicine. It’s a simple but powerful way to provide Kingston residents with easy access to medical specialists that are located in other cities.
Telemedicine uses secure videoconference technology to facilitate appointments between patients and specialists or health care providers in other cities. This service is free to residents of Ontario. The largest and perhaps most obvious benefit is the savings that come from reduced travel. Often if a person needs to see a specialist, say in Toronto or Ottawa (or even further), that appointment will require money for travel, time off of work and often other related costs such as childcare. These costs can really add up, particularly if multiple trips are required. With Telemedicine, an initial consultation or follow up appointment with a specialist can be done remotely, so that you don’t have to travel out of town. The cost savings for Kingston residents are significant and this service also helps the health care providers as fewer patients need to reschedule appointments because of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances that might hinder travel. Here at KCHC, Clinical Telemedicine Nurses are available in person to support patients before, during and after the appointments.
Telemedicine really is the future of medicine. While there will still be times when you and a medical specialist have to be in the same room together, there are many other times when virtual examinations will do just as well. This sort of technology allows for faster, more efficient patient care and a better healthcare system as a whole. I’m so pleased to see this sort of innovative technology in Kingston that can save residents time and money and provide access to the best medical professionals in the province right here in our city.
If you know of a fresh or innovative approach being taken by a community group, organization or business, I want to hear about it. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram by following @MayorPaterson and the hashtag #MITour.