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Longterm Care Facilities Access Services Through Telehealth

first_imgA pilot project is connecting three long-term care facilities through the province’s Telehealth network to improve Nova Scotians’ access to health-care services, announced Health Minister Chris d’Entremont today, April 9. The facilities involved in the three-year project are the Cove Guest Home in Sydney, Richmond Villa in St. Peter’s, and Shoreham Village in Chester. “With our 10-year continuing-care strategy, we are committed to supporting Nova Scotians in their homes and communities,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “Through the Telehealth technology, residents of these long-term care facilities will have enhanced access to care with less disruption to their daily lives. They will also be able to visit with loved ones from a distance, using the video-conferencing technology.” The three facilities can connect with other health-care sites for clinical assessments, staff training, administrative meetings and visits between residents and families. Clinical assessments can be done for dermatology, pain management, psychiatry and rehabilitation. The project is expected to cost $132,000 — $24,000 per year, plus a one-time cost of $60,000 to purchase and install Telehealth equipment. Dr. Mary Lynch, director of the pain management unit at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, works with the Telehealth network. “Through Telehealth, we are able to provide medical care closer to home for Nova Scotians, connect family members, and share knowledge between health professionals, all of which improves access to care,” said Dr. Lynch. “I expect the services available to long-term-care residents and the health professionals who work in the facilities will be of tremendous benefit.” Launched in 1996, the Nova Scotia Telehealth Network is a video-conferencing circuit that connects more than 60 health-care sites across Nova Scotia. Telehealth improves access to a range of services and information for patients and health-care professionals. The project was co-ordinated by the Telehealth Long-term Care Working Group. It includes representatives of the three facilities, Department of Health, district health authorities and Health Information Technology Services Nova Scotia. The group has commended the leadership, commitment and contribution of Archie MacKeigan, administrator and CEO of the Cove Guest Home in Sydney. Mr. MacKeigan died in March.last_img