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Video Visits Give Patients Post-Op Peace of Mind

St. Joseph’s Health System uses Epic to coordinate care for patients after surgery, reducing ED visits and readmissions

Follow-up visits are important for patients’ recovery after surgery, but it can be difficult for patients to make it to these visits – especially when they don’t live close to the hospital. To make post-surgical care more convenient and improve patients’ path to recovery, St. Joseph’s Health System in Ontario recently started a program for post-op virtual visits. The program has already reduced emergency department visits and hospital readmissions by 30% among participating patients.

As part of the program, dedicated care coordinators work with patients before, during, and after admission. When patients go home to recover, they can connect with their caregivers using secure messaging in their MyDovetale patient portal or through a 24/7 phone helpline.

Patients can work with a care coordinator to schedule a video visit with a doctor, or arrange a visit with a home care nurse who can assist during recovery to avoid another hospital stay. Clinicians can incorporate diagnostic images and test results from Epic into the visits directly, showing them to patients on their screens during consultation.

Since the program’s launch in 2012, patient satisfaction with the program has reached 98%, and savings in healthcare costs for some patients have reached $4,000. Ontario’s health ministry plans to consult with St. Joseph’s to help implement the care model at other organizations in the region.

Learn more about St. Joseph’s video visits and the program at Canadian Healthcare Technology.