From Adoption to Integration - Success Story in a Telemedicine Program
e-Health ePoster Library. Frank Yu R. Jun 6, 2017; 167132; EP06.01
Rashmi Bhide and Frank Yu
Rashmi Bhide and  Frank Yu
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Abstract
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Purpose/Objectives: The Telemedicine Program at St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) functions on the mandate: To increase access to healthcare services and resources by supporting the adoption of telemedicine technologies. During initial years of its existence, telemedicine was somewhat of a novelty, appealing to ‘early adopters’ who were open to use of technology in order to help increase access to their patients, who lived at a distance. In 2011, the Telemedicine Program at SMH employed specific adoption and integration strategies based on needs assessment and customization, with an ultimate aim to integrate and embed telemedicine in routine patient care practice. The Telemedicine Program at SMH is viewed as a strategic enabler that can support improved access to care while making delivery of health care efficient and cost effective. The telemedicine adoption and integration strategies, support our hospital’s quality agenda in the areas of access, efficiency and patient experience as outlined in the Hospital’s strategic plan.

Methodology/Approach: Recognizing the fact that introduction of telemedicine in a clinic environment means significant changes in otherwise well-established routines and processes, the adoption strategies focused mainly on clinician’s readiness assessment, change management and ensuring simple and easy-to-follow new processes, to minimize disruption of routines. Detailed telemedicine clinical protocols are developed in collaboration with the providers to ensure an efficient and smooth telemedicine clinic, providing a seamless experience for clinical providers. Depending on need, new users are also given a trial run through a simulated clinic to address any concerns and to familiarize the users to technology. These initiatives were initially implemented in departments of General Surgery, Respirology, Mental Health, Geriatrics and Trauma. The increased clinical activity in these areas reinforced our standard approach to drive adoption in other clinical services. In a study conducted by a medical student at SMH, location of the telemedicine studios; disruption in the daily routine were identified as limiting factors for uptake of telemedicine. As a way of addressing the limiting factors, SMH Telemedicine Program implemented desktop videoconferencing solution PCVC (Personal Computer VideoConferencing) in physicians’ offices. Again, the introduction and integration of PCVC in clinicians’ offices followed the same philosophical approach for adoption.

Finding/Results: The impact is measured qualitatively by surveying users (clinicians & support staff), and quantitatively by number of providers using telemedicine to provide care for their patients and by telemedicine clinical activity numbers. The overall clinical activity numbers and number of clinical providers have doubled in years since the adoption and introduction strategies were introduced. Both qualitative and quantitative results will be shown on the poster for the conference.

Conclusion/Implications/Recommendations: These early results indicate that the SMH Telemedicine Program’s adoption and integration strategies have enabled the program to demonstrate its potential as an enabler to address the issue of access, efficiency and sustainability. The adoption and integration strategies developed and implemented, with a focus on ease of use, by SMH Telemedicine Program, can help create a framework for approach to promote clinician acceptance and integration of telemedicine in delivery of healthcare.

140 Character Summary: This poster presentation will describe adoption and integration strategies implemented at a large academic health center.
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