Sudbury·Audio

Sudbury hospital's virtual critical care model a first in Canada: LHIN

More doctors and nurses at small hospitals are getting help to deal with critically ill patients, now that the Sudbury hospital is expanding its Virtual Critical Care unit.

There are now 16 hospitals in northeastern Ontario taking part in the Virtual Critical Care program

Registered Nurse and virtual critical care team member Diane Whalen demonstrates a Virtual Critical Care consult. (HSN)

More doctors and nurses at small hospitals are getting help to deal with critically ill patients, now that the Sudbury hospital is expanding its Virtual Critical Care unit.

The unit uses videoconferencing to connect intensive care specialists in Sudbury with emergency departments around the region.

Listen to emergency room physician Michael Cotterill describe how he uses the technology at the Lady Dunn Health Centre in the town of Wawa:

Seven facilities in the northeast have been added to the Virtual Critical Care program, run out of the Sudbury hospital. Dr. Michael Cotterill of Lady Dunn Health Centre in Wawa explained what this will mean for doctors in smaller communities. 5:12

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Gail Bignucolo, the CEO for Chapleau Health Services, which has just been added to the virtual care unit, said she is pleased with the development.

“The number of traumas that an individual physician [here] will see is limited, so it's really nice to be able to have somebody on the screen right beside you who sees these things every day,” she said.

Seven more locations have been added to the Virtual Critical Care unit at the Sudbury hospital.

The vice president of Telemedicine Solutions for the Ontario Telemedicine Network said doctors in Sudbury can even connect from home to help with an emergency elsewhere in the north.

“One of the unique things that we did is — because these calls can come sometimes in the middle of the night — we have provided on demand video, [so] they can securely see patients over their PC,” Laurie Poole said.

There are now 16 hospitals in northeastern Ontario taking part in Virtual Critical Care.

The local health integration network for the northeast says it's the first critical care model of its kind in the country.

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