May 7, 2020 – In order to treat patients safely at home during the public health emergency, the Saskatchewan government, with support from Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) is offering virtual visits and will be introducing home health monitoring during the crisis.
Virtual visits will enable citizens to access physicians and other health care providers safely from home, reducing exposure to COVID-19 for patients, physicians, clinic staff and their families. The program will help health care providers set up video and audio visits with their patients.
Additionally, in order to help patients with chronic conditions, such as heart failure or patients who have had lung transplantation avoid hospital stays and ED visits during the pandemic, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will soon be offering home health monitoring during the public health emergency. The solution will enable patients to better manage their conditions with the help of remote monitoring and more timely interventions. Patients will monitor key health indicators and receive personalized follow-up with their health care team. This will enable patients to address changes in their condition before they become critical, and require a trip to the emergency department, or hospitalization.
“We’re proud to support initiatives that enable patients to stay at home while still accessing the care they need. Remote patient monitoring solutions can not only improve the quality of life for patients, they can reduce burden on the health system, which is even more important during a public health emergency.” — Michael Green, President & CEO, Canada Health Infoway
“eHealth Saskatchewan is very proud of the role it’s playing to support front-line caregivers across our provinces. No matter the unique challenges COVID-19 presents—whether it’s providing the IT support for planned field hospitals or assisting staff sent out to track and test virus outbreaks, eHealth has been responding quickly and effectively to the needs of our health sector partners.” — Jim Hornell¸ CEO, eHealth Saskatchewan
“We are excited to be developing a Virtual Care strategy to enable the people of Saskatchewan to receive the care they need in a timely fashion at, or as close to, home as possible. This will ensure they have the supports they need, from both their Health Care team as well as their families, and will decrease exposure to COVID-19 for patients, families and providers. Home health monitoring allows patients to be active participants in their care with their broader health care team, thereby ensuring better outcomes. Virtual care builds capacity in our health care system, helping to prevent our acute care facilities from becoming overwhelmed, which is especially necessary at this time. This Virtual Care strategy links to other health system strategies, such as Connected Care, and will benefit the province and people of Saskatchewan during the pandemic, and for years to come.” — Dr. Vern Behl, Senior Medical Information Officer, Saskatchewan Health Authority