Telehealth is a service that allows patients to remotely consult a physician, nurse or other healthcare professional.
Here at the MHI, the Digital Hospital cooperates with clinical teams, patients and the CHUM’s Telehealth Coordination Centre to implement these online healthcare services.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth can take various forms. At the MHI, these services are mostly:
- Teleconsultation: a remotely held medical consultation that takes place as if you were face to face with your physician, but your physician talks to you through your computer, tablet or screen. You can see your physician and talk to him.
- Telehomecare: either you record your health data (arterial pressure, pain, etc.) yourself on a web platform, an application on your computer, tablet or smartphone, or a connected device automatically records this data and sends it to the MHI. This data is then analyzed by a MHI healthcare professional who will be able to adjust your treatment if needed.
- Distance Education: you are given access to an information library describing the steps before, during and after the planned medical intervention, available on a secure web platform. In this manner, you can be guided step by step all along your medical journey.
Note: Telehealth is currently being implemented at the MHI, all sectors may not yet be offering all services.
ADVANTAGES OF TELEHEALTH
- Improved access to high quality care and services as good as those offered during in-person consultations, but from the comfort of your home
- Timely and ongoing provision of care
- Reduction in travel, and consequent reduction in related stress and costs
- Reduction in absence from work
- Reduction in wait time in waiting rooms
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the MHI wishes to protect its patients as much as possible. Therefore, whenever doable, in-house consultations will be replaced by a telephone follow-up or a teleconsultation (on a case-by-case basis).
Sylvain Bédard, our coordinating partner patient, explains what teleconsultation is and why it is beneficial, especially during a pandemic:
Vidéo télésanté from ICM on Vimeo.
EXAMPLE OF A TELECONSULTATION APPOINTMENT
Before the Teleconsultation
An MHI employee will call you to:
- explain what the teleconsultation (or remote consultation) entails;
- check with you if you have the appropriate material at home to conduct a teleconsultation (Internet-enabled computer, tablet or smartphone, email address);
- obtain your consent to teleconsultation, which will be indicated in your patient file.
- You will then receive an email with instructions on how to sign into your teleconsultation, with an attached user guide.
We recommend trying to connect to the teleconsultation platform at least 24 hrs prior to your teleconsultation. Check that the sound, camera and Internet function correctly.
If you wish to conduct a technical test before your teleconsultation, you can call technical support at least 24 hrs prior to your teleconsultation: 514-593-7443 (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm).
On the Day of Teleconsultation
- In order for the teleconsultation to take place under optimal conditions, you and the physician must both be in a private, closed and quiet room.
- Sign in 5 minutes before the scheduled appointment time following the instructions you have received by email. You will wait in the virtual waiting room for the physician to sign in and allow you into the teleconsultation.
- You will speak remotely with the physician or another healthcare professional. In this manner, you will be able to see the professional you are consulting on your screen. You will be able to hear them and to talk to them as if you were face to face.
- Should you encounter technical difficulties, you can call technical support at least 24 hrs before the teleconsultation: 514-593-7443 (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm).
After the Teleconsultation
- The professional adds the consultation notes to your patient file.
- If the situation cannot be correctly assessed by teleconsultation, the professional may ask you to come to meet him in person.
- Privacy agreement: In telehealth as in in-person consultations, personal information is securely and confidentially treated.
- You understand the consent you verbally gave as part of your teleconsultation.
- You ask questions on the technology used and other subjects if you deem the explanations given were unclear.
- You make a list of the questions you wish to ask the physician.
- You have your health insurance card, an up-to-date list of your medications and any other information you were asked to provide readily available.
- You ask questions about any new medication or about the treatment and follow-up recommended by the physician.
- You make sure you understand the changes in medication or treatment, and ask questions about how you can improve your condition and how to manage your own care.
- You remember to cancel your appointment if you cannot attend.