Education Report

Bringing medicine to the patient

Until teleportation is invented, telemedicine is the only way to bring patients and physicians together instantaneously to allow for face–to–face exchange of information. Dr. Alan Lossing, medical director of the telemedicine program at St. Michael's, sees telemedicine as part of a new era in medicine.

"We're able to get highly specific information from point A to B quicker than ever before," said Dr. Lossing. "This is going to alter the model to make it better for patients overall."

Dr. Elizabeth Tullis, director of the St. Michael's Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program, says that telemedicine has changed her practice.

"We need to see 400 patients spread throughout Ontario, including remote locations as far as the Manitoba border, four times per year. We simply could not manage care for these adults without telemedicine." said Dr. Tullis.

Telemedicine not only brings patients and physicians together, it can bring caregivers together to improve patient care. Victoria Wen, a case manager at St. Michael's, uses telemedicine to connect with health care professionals at other institutions to make transition of care more seamless.

"Using telemedicine, we can plan ahead to streamline the discharge process and make sure that the providers at Bridgepoint and Providence understand the challenges that our patients face — both physically and socially," says Wen. "Telemedicine takes much less time and fewer resources to share the same information."