Virtual care by 2020—bring it on

I read last week’s C.D. Howe Institute report, Modernizing Canada’s Healthcare System through the Virtualization of Services, by Dr. R. Sacha Bhatia and William Falk with great interest and optimism.

For more than a year now, Joule has been focused on the virtues of virtual care and how we can help physicians, and health care institutions and systems adopt virtual care solutions to improve access to health care for all Canadians.

For most consumers, it is frustrating that health care delivery has not more quickly aligned with other areas of our lives. But working in the health care system, I understand why it hasn’t. I was so pleased to see the report call out the need for payment reform and access to electronic information—two huge barriers for the adoption of virtual care products.

I rarely meet a physician who does not want to adapt their practice to make access better for their patients. The physicians I meet are either early adopters who are itching for tools to make it easier for them to deliver the care they envision for their patients; or often, physicians whose adoption of other innovations have been thwarted by existing pay structures or the system’s extreme aversion to change.

Overall, I am very supportive of the recommendations put forth in this report and believe whole heartedly that we must time-stamp the goal to go virtual. I think 2020 is doable if all of us in the health system work together to make it happen. Are you up for the challenge?

About the author

Lindee David

Lindee is the proud Chief Executive Officer of Joule. She is a strategic, innovative senior executive who has made a career of driving change within the health care system. Her vision is to create a movement of physician-led innovation that will result in health care improvements for physicians and their patients.

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