Ontario Telemedicine Network
Ross Memorial Hospital staff, physicians and patients now benefit from telemedicine through the use of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).
OTN is an independent, not-for-profit organization that is funded by the Government of Ontario. "Telemedicine" (TM) is the delivery of health-related services and information using telecommunications technologies. Using two-way videoconferencing systems and tele-diagnostic instruments like digital stethoscopes, otoscopes and patient examination cameras, OTN helps deliver clinical care and professional education among health care providers and patients.
OTN is transforming the way patients can receive needed health care by extending and enhancing access to health care providers and eliminating barriers to care, all across Ontario.
OTN was created through the April 2006 merger of three award-winning, provincially-funded telemedicine networks: CareConnect (Eastern Ontario), NORTH Network (Central & Northern Ontario) and VideoCare (Southwestern Ontario). Today, more than 2,000 health care professionals deliver care using OTN. OTN programs and services are delivered in over 500 sites across the province. In 2007, over 32,000 clinical consultations in Ontario were conducted using telemedicine.
The Ontario Telemedicine Network is invaluable in bringing highly specialized care to patients in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Timely access to such care, without the need to travel great distances, is an important benefit to our community, particularly our seniors.
While the primary focus of the Ontario Telemedicine Network is to provide specialty consultations to rural and community hospitals, the hospitals are also able to maximize on the potential of the Telemedicine equipment for other essential purposes such as:
- Continuing education programs for patients and families
- Continuing education for medical, nursing and allied health personnel
- Clinical rounds and peer-to-peer consultations
- Research opportunities
For more information on OTN Programs and Services visit the website: www.otn.ca
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a telemedicine visit?
Telemedicine uses video cameras and television screens to connect you to doctors and other health care professionals at a distance, reducing the need to travel to receive care. You will be able to see, hear and talk to a doctor or other health care professional by videoconference.
What happens at a telemedicine appointment?
A telemedicine appointment is much like a regular check up, only the health care professional you will be seeing and speaking with, is on a television screen. Before you arrive, the health care professional you are going to see will already have relevant information about you to support your telemedicine visit. However, you may be asked to bring test results, medications or x-rays with you. Once you have checked in, you may be asked to change into a gown, depending upon the type of examination you require. You will be taken to a telemedicine-equipped room where you will see the equipment and learn how it works. You are welcome to ask any questions. Then you will be asked for your consent to proceed.
Who will be with me during the appointment?
In most cases, a health care professional who has been trained in telemedicine will be with you. Your family doctor or other health care professional may also attend.
Who will be caring for me?
The doctor or health care professional that you will see on the television screen will be located at another telemedicine site. During your visit, the health care professional with you may assist with your examination, using special medical devices such as an electronic stethoscope or patient exam cameras.
How long does a telemedicine appointment take?
It can take anywhere from ten minutes to more than an hour, depending on the type of appointment and whether or not you have seen the health care professional before.
Is telemedicine private?
Your telemedicine visit will be private and confidential. It can only be seen and heard by those directly involved.
Where can I get more information about OTN?
If you have any questions, please speak to your health care professional. You can also visit OTN online at www.otn.ca or call 1-866-454-OTN-1 (6861).