Patient resource to support the utilization of virtual care at home in rural communities

Dominey, Christina (2021) Patient resource to support the utilization of virtual care at home in rural communities. Practicum Report. Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Background: Virtual care (VC) is a meeting between a patient and their health care provider using a form of technology that allows the patient and provider to be in different locations. Its use has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but unfortunately, some rural areas in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) did not adapt and increase their use of VC as quickly as those in urban areas. Purpose: To develop a patient resource to increase awareness and utilization of VC in a rural health area in the Western Health region of NL. Methods: A literature review was conducted to understand the barriers that existed and to explore any previous strategies and their effectiveness in relation to the implementation of VC visits among patients. Consultation interviews were then conducted with VC consultants and health care providers to determine if any previous strategies were successful in increasing the use of VC among patients. Results: According to the literature, several barriers exist that prevent the use of VC in rural communities, with the most common being a lack of awareness of VC and technology barriers. Effective interventions included providing VC devices to patients and technical support. The consultees reinforced that patient awareness on VC should be increased and technical support was necessary for successful VC visits. Pamphlets were previously used by the consultees to raise patient awareness and increase comfort levels prior to the availability of video VC from home and these were recommended for future use. Two pamphlets were developed; one provided general VC information to raise patient awareness of their ability to use VC and the other contained technical support information to build patients’ comfort level with the technology required for VC. Conclusion: The goal is for these pamphlets to be distributed in common public areas such as the hospital/clinic, grocery store, and pharmacy in rural communities in the Western Health region.

Item Type: Report (Practicum Report)
Item ID: 15726
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 23-27)
Keywords: rural health, virtual care, telehealth, remote patient visits
Department(s): Nursing, Faculty of
Date: December 2021
Date Type: Submission
Medical Subject Heading: COVID-19; Rural Population; Rural Health; Telemedicine; Newfoundland and Labrador

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