Virtual care is a natural next step in technological innovation for healthcare, says a report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In ‘Modernizing Canada’s Healthcare System through the Virtualization of Services,’ authors Dr. R. Sacha Bhatia and William Falk argue that virtual models of care have the potential to improve both quality of life for patients and access to care in remote areas, all while increasing the healthcare system’s efficiency. Healthcare has continued to be defined by visits to hospitals and doctors’ offices and now, increasingly, by time spent in hallways. Answering healthcare’s challenges in the 21st century will not be achieved by having more 20th century buildings. It will come from modernizing the system through the use of new digital tools and integrating them into the day-to-day work of caring for patients. While many valiant efforts have been made to drag healthcare delivery into the 21st century, progress has been slow. The problem isn’t with the technology, as other industries have made this leap, but rather with outdated regulations, policies, and special interest groups which affect everything from privacy to labour negotiations. Key drivers of this transformation include giving all patients access to their own health information by 2020 for them to share directly with their health providers and carrying out comprehensive reviews of all healthcare services to determine which services to virtualize and their respective prices.
Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts