During the pandemic, the Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) from CMHA Kenora was not able to safely see all clients in the office. Some clients may also have had challenges in self-isolating and/or sharing information required for COVID-19 screening.
The ACTT needed a means of seeing clients safely that still maintained both privacy and security during Psychiatric consults.
- The team adopted the use of eVisit, part of the OTN service offering. While widely used in primary care, eVisit is not as widely accessed in Mental Health Services. The eVisit appointments offer a number of low-barrier benefits:
- Psychiatrist books directly—no OTN coordinator needed.
- The client does not need to have any type of OTN account.
- Reduced space issues with booking in-office equipment and space.
- On-the-fly friendly, which fits with the premise of ACTT – meeting clients when they need the support.
- Donning and doffing PPE for a single clinician is much more manageable and time efficient than sanitizing an entire meeting space pre- and post- appointment.
- The appointment is more convenient as it’s brought directly to the client (no client travel required).
- Clinician is able maintain a two-meter distance ensuring client safety and minimizing exposure to additional staff and clients.
- Offers improved on-demand service – serving clients when they need it.
- Some clients have complex health issues – client not assuming risk of leaving home during COVID-19.
- In some areas of Northern Ontario within the Kenora and Rainy River Districts, cell service is lacking; connectivity continues to pose a barrier to service access and improvements for some remote/rural communities.
- The ACTT team plans to maintain this innovation post-pandemic as there are so many benefits for the clients and the clinical team.
- Select date and time with Psychiatrist.
- Psychiatrist sets up visit in OTN system and sends Clinician a link to the eVisit via email.
- Clinician brings tech hardware (laptop and mobile broadband data stick) to client home for the appointment.
- Connect to the eVisit using the link.
- Proceed with appointment as though they are in the office.
For more information on Psychiatry Consults in the Community, contact:
- Lisa LeBlanc, firstname.lastname@example.org