Labrador-Grenfell Health is endeavoring to provide patients with faster and more effective treatment through connections from our sites to other health professionals and treatment specialists for medical advice. Telehealth has been in NL for over 30 years and is constantly growing through new locations and interested healthcare providers discovering its benefits. As of November 2017 there were 105 sites in the province and that numbers continues to grow.
Telehealth enables the delivery of equitable health services to clients in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) regardless of location. By reducing the need for client, family and healthcare provider travel, Telehealth enhances the continuity and capacity of care throughout the health care system. In a province like ours, with its vast geography, dispersed and aging population, harsh weather conditions and growing health care demands, Telehealth works to close the gaps resulting from these challenging realities. Simply put, Telehealth has become a pivotal way of delivering healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Since incorporating videoconferencing, there have been many lifesaving success stories in our region, including assists with resuscitations and traumas. Patients have expressed satisfaction with this technology, particularly oncology and dialysis patients receiving treatment, who benefit from being in their own communities with family and friends to provide support. As one client recently put it “The good news about it for us is to be able to stay in our community and our own home to do the things we always did in our own environment and where we can have family get together and other events, and most especially to visit and spend time with old friends. We don’t have to travel 5-6 hours to Corner Brook or 12 hours to St. John’s to see a specialist”.
These advancements also support Government’s strategic direction of improved accessibility to priority services. This is accomplished by using the latest telehealth technology, which relies on videoconferencing and other digital technologies.