Continuing our Heartbeat Covid-19 series, in this article we will focus on Newfoundland and Labrador's response.
Newfoundland and Labrador experienced similar challenges as other healthcare facilities across Canada. One well established service that Eastern Health would improve upon was the Virtual Care area.
Based on the three Pillars:
- Patient Impact
- Health Care System Impact
- Provider Impact
These Pillars leveraged the pre-existing virtual solution to expand and deliver healthcare needs during COVID-19 to a regional population of over 300,000.
Eastern Health had to quickly expand their virtual care solutions across the organization including telehealth, remote patient monitoring technology, and other technologies to enable health-care providers to virtually communicate with patients. Some of the solutions leveraged to enhance the virtual care was the use of Telehealth (Jabber), Remote Patient Monitoring (Health Harmony), Zoom and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Virtual Visits.
Utilization of virtual care not only allowed Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) of COVID-19 positive patients but reduced other types of hospital visits and protected front line staff from potential exposure to the virus.
Installation of hard-wired cameras were employed in critical care areas and inpatient rooms to enable bi-directional communication. Along with iPads, RPM, and Jabber-based technology, these devices enabled healthcare providers to communicate directly with patients without entering the patient’s room.
Did you know: Newfoundland’s Liquor Corp, Rock Spirits bottling plant has been repurposed to produce hand sanitizer that would be used by healthcare workers, first responders, and the general public. Over 120,000 liters of hand sanitizer has been produced using a formula that was developed by the WHO and licensed by Health Canada. They have secured enough ingredients to produce a total 400,000 Liters.
Did you know: PolyUnity Tech Inc., a local 3D-printing software company which initially partnered with the Eastern Health Regional Health Authority as part of their innovation strategy “Innovating Together – An innovation strategy to guide creative thought and action in Eastern Health: A Living Lab” shift their resources to develop over 9,000 face shields for frontline workers. These shields were certified as Class 1 devices by Health Canada at the end of March.
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