6 Key Resources to Support Your Virtual Care Efforts

October 29, 2020 RLDatix Marketing

6 Key Resources to Support Your Virtual Care Efforts

This year’s Canadian Patient Safety week, created by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), has a timely theme: Virtual Care is New to Us. In light of the pandemic, healthcare providers around the world are moving towards virtual care options, when possible, to help keep patients and frontline staff safe. CPSI reports that only 10% of Canadians have previous experience with virtual care, yet 41% would like to have virtual appointments with their healthcare providers. Beyond the pandemic, telehealth will likely continue to be a major aspect of healthcare delivery with advances to technology and a growing need for virtual care options.  

To assist you and your organization, we’re highlighting six key resources to support your virtual care efforts.  

Building a Framework for Telehealth Services 

If you’re considering implementing telemedicine services, but you’re not sure where to start, the American Medical Association (AMA) has created a 12-step process to help physicians implement real time audio and visual appointments between clinicians and patients.  

The guide is broken up into four sections:  

  • The warmup offers an introduction to telehealth, its impact on healthcare and key aspects of telehealth in practice.  

  • The 6-step pre-game provides a general foundation for a telehealth program–– the base needed before taking more detailed steps toward a telehealth program.  

  • 6 steps at game time covers the details providers need to consider as they make telehealth a reality at their organization. This includes tips around designing their workflow, preparing their care teams and how to take a patient-centered approach to virtual care.  

  • Post-game concludes the playbook with additional resources such as downloadable worksheets and tools that can be printed out and adjusted to meet a practice's unique requirements.  

Delivering Telemental Health Services  

It’s increasingly important for patients to have access to both physical and mental health resources. The American Psychiatric Association has highlighted general and key considerations for mental health providers to keep in mind when in virtual care settings.  

The Ontario Psychological Association has also developed “Guidelines For Best Practices in the Provision of Telepsychology,” including an overview of telepsychology, standards of care in the delivery of telepsychology services, confidentiality of data and information and more.  

If healthcare providers are committed to patient safety, they must also commit to the physical and mental safety of their staff members. “Care for the caregiver” is an integral part of the Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) toolkit, developed to support providers as they seek emotional first-aid, a sense of well-being and morale after harm has occurred. 

In the midst of a global pandemic, the mental health of both patients and frontline staff has taken center stage. During this time and beyond, healthcare organizations should be equipped with tools and programs that support the mental health of frontline staff and patients. CANDOR aims to do just that. The toolkit helps patient safety and risk management leaders practice empathic and compassionate communication with patients, families and staff following an adverse event through a fair and accountable culture.  

How RLDatix Equips Providers with Remote Accessible Solutions  

While providers are working to provide virtual resources to patients, it’s also becoming clear that organizations need tools that can be accessed both virtually and remotely by staff. With many staff working from home, a solution’s remote access is a key factor in helping providers continue to work effectively and efficiently. RLDatix PolicyStat serves as a cloud-based centralized location to house all policies, procedures and important documents. Whether staff are working on-site, from home or at an off-site location, they can search, access and edit policies in PolicyStat 

Evolving industry standards and new discoveries around how to keep people safe from COVID-19 requires that organizations keep their policies up to date and easily accessible. To help ensure that staff have read updated and new policies, users can assign acknowledgements in the module, prompting staff to read and sign off on these updates. PolicyStat also integrates with other modules in the RLDatix suite. For example, a provider equipped with RLDatix can track if specific policies have been linked to safety events across the organization. 

WEBside Manner Infographic  

This WEBside manner infographic was developed by CPSI and the Canadian Medical Association to help healthcare providers make the most of their virtual appointments.  

This quick guide includes helpful tips for providers to keep in mind before, during and after their appointments. Some tips include creating a suitable workstationthe importance of visual cues in a virtual setting and following up with resources after the appointment. 

The two organizations also partnered to create a “How to Make the Most of Your Virtual Visit” infographic and two checklists that patients can use before and during their appointment.  

Virtual Care Playbook  

The Canadian Medical Association, The College of Family Physicians of Canada and  

the Royal College have collaborated to create a Virtual Care Playbook, a downloadable document that takes a deep dive into telemedicine. Developed specifically with physicians in mind as they introduce virtual care into their daily practices, here are some of the key topics 

  • Fitting virtual care into your practice workflow 

  • Technology requirements 

  • Scope of practice –– what problems can be safely assessed and treated 

  • The virtual visit from beginning to end and much more 

Virtual Care Quiz 

Virtual Care is new to patients all over the world–– many of us are navigating these experiences for the first time. If you’re a physician and receiving questions from your patients around what to expect and how to prepare for a virtual care appointment, try sharing this Virtual Care Quiz from CPSI 

The quiz includes tips around privacy and security, who a patient can bring to their appointment and what information they should have prepared before their virtual care session. 

Learning Together through Virtual Care Efforts 

As we navigate virtual care and become more familiar with its best practices, one thing remains the same: patient safety should be the top priority in all care settings. Each of the resources outlined this article can help providers create meaningful virtual care experiences that support patients receiving safe and quality care. 

To learn more about CPSI’s Canadian Patient Safety Week, click here 

Do you have a tip for making the most of virtual care visits? Let us know in the comment section 

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