MyDovetale helping patients at St. Joes

News Dec 27, 2019 by Abigail Cukier Hamilton Mountain News

Some days Judy Vair finds it too difficult to even leave her apartment, let alone ask a friend to drive her from Brantford to Hamilton.

A patient in the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Mood Disorders program, Vair suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as chronic pain. While she still travels to visit her healthcare team at St. Joe’s, she also uses MyDovetale, St. Joe’s secure portal that connects patients to their healthcare providers through video conference—or a virtual visit—using an app on their smartphone or tablet or online on a computer.

“I don’t have a car anymore and having to ask for a ride to get to Hamilton was just one more thing to add to my anxiety,” said Vair, a retired nurse who worked at St. Joe’s for 10 years. “Also, on a limited income, it means not having to pay for gas and parking. And if there is bad weather, you don’t have to cancel an appointment. If you are not feeling well, you don’t want to sit in a waiting room and infect everyone else.”

Data from the Mood Disorders program shows 97 per cent of patients participated in their virtual visits, surpassing the 88 per cent of patients who were able to make their appointments in person at the hospital.

MyDovetale also gives patients access to their health information and allows them to manage appointments, see test results and message their care team.

Vair says if she is not feeling well, she can fill out a questionnaire through the app and share it with her care team. If necessary, they will set up an appointment.

MyDovetale is available for patients in St. Joe’s Integrated Comprehensive Care program and nine clinics, including Mood Disorders, Kidney Transplant and Firestone Ambulatory clinics. The portal will soon be available to all St. Joe’s patients

“In patients with chronic illness, such as mental illness or chronic pain, continuity of care and being able to see the effectiveness of treatment is an integral part of our work,” said psychiatrist, Dr. Zena Samaan. “They may need to miss appointments and then we don’t know how they are doing, and we can’t make care decisions without talking to them. This lets us have that continuity and make adjustments to treatment if necessary.”

Dr. Samaan recalls a patient who had an in-clinic appointment but had to stay home with her children unexpectedly. Instead of missing her appointment right before the holidays, they switched to a virtual visit. Another patient was able to use her phone app show an occupational therapist the spaces in her home where she may need adaptive devices.

“Some people may be uncomfortable at first or be concerned they will miss non-verbal cues. But we have to adapt and learn and modify our way of interacting. I have met patients’ family members this way and have seen their pets. I can see their environment and see that it is safe and well looked after,” said Dr. Samaan.

“One of my patients has three children under age five. This way, she can have her appointment sitting at the kitchen table while her babies are napping. This is the future of healthcare. This is not replacing in-person visits, but this blended model is going to be important.”

Since January 2019, about 1,000 patients have had access to virtual care through MyDovetale and more than 500 video visits have been done.

– Special to The News

MyDovetale helping patients at St. Joes

Secure portal enables patients to see doctors on their smartphones and tablets

News Dec 27, 2019 by Abigail Cukier Hamilton Mountain News

Some days Judy Vair finds it too difficult to even leave her apartment, let alone ask a friend to drive her from Brantford to Hamilton.

A patient in the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Mood Disorders program, Vair suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as chronic pain. While she still travels to visit her healthcare team at St. Joe’s, she also uses MyDovetale, St. Joe’s secure portal that connects patients to their healthcare providers through video conference—or a virtual visit—using an app on their smartphone or tablet or online on a computer.

“I don’t have a car anymore and having to ask for a ride to get to Hamilton was just one more thing to add to my anxiety,” said Vair, a retired nurse who worked at St. Joe’s for 10 years. “Also, on a limited income, it means not having to pay for gas and parking. And if there is bad weather, you don’t have to cancel an appointment. If you are not feeling well, you don’t want to sit in a waiting room and infect everyone else.”

Data from the Mood Disorders program shows 97 per cent of patients participated in their virtual visits, surpassing the 88 per cent of patients who were able to make their appointments in person at the hospital.

MyDovetale also gives patients access to their health information and allows them to manage appointments, see test results and message their care team.

Vair says if she is not feeling well, she can fill out a questionnaire through the app and share it with her care team. If necessary, they will set up an appointment.

MyDovetale is available for patients in St. Joe’s Integrated Comprehensive Care program and nine clinics, including Mood Disorders, Kidney Transplant and Firestone Ambulatory clinics. The portal will soon be available to all St. Joe’s patients

“In patients with chronic illness, such as mental illness or chronic pain, continuity of care and being able to see the effectiveness of treatment is an integral part of our work,” said psychiatrist, Dr. Zena Samaan. “They may need to miss appointments and then we don’t know how they are doing, and we can’t make care decisions without talking to them. This lets us have that continuity and make adjustments to treatment if necessary.”

Dr. Samaan recalls a patient who had an in-clinic appointment but had to stay home with her children unexpectedly. Instead of missing her appointment right before the holidays, they switched to a virtual visit. Another patient was able to use her phone app show an occupational therapist the spaces in her home where she may need adaptive devices.

“Some people may be uncomfortable at first or be concerned they will miss non-verbal cues. But we have to adapt and learn and modify our way of interacting. I have met patients’ family members this way and have seen their pets. I can see their environment and see that it is safe and well looked after,” said Dr. Samaan.

“One of my patients has three children under age five. This way, she can have her appointment sitting at the kitchen table while her babies are napping. This is the future of healthcare. This is not replacing in-person visits, but this blended model is going to be important.”

Since January 2019, about 1,000 patients have had access to virtual care through MyDovetale and more than 500 video visits have been done.

– Special to The News

MyDovetale helping patients at St. Joes

Secure portal enables patients to see doctors on their smartphones and tablets

News Dec 27, 2019 by Abigail Cukier Hamilton Mountain News

Some days Judy Vair finds it too difficult to even leave her apartment, let alone ask a friend to drive her from Brantford to Hamilton.

A patient in the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Mood Disorders program, Vair suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as chronic pain. While she still travels to visit her healthcare team at St. Joe’s, she also uses MyDovetale, St. Joe’s secure portal that connects patients to their healthcare providers through video conference—or a virtual visit—using an app on their smartphone or tablet or online on a computer.

“I don’t have a car anymore and having to ask for a ride to get to Hamilton was just one more thing to add to my anxiety,” said Vair, a retired nurse who worked at St. Joe’s for 10 years. “Also, on a limited income, it means not having to pay for gas and parking. And if there is bad weather, you don’t have to cancel an appointment. If you are not feeling well, you don’t want to sit in a waiting room and infect everyone else.”

Data from the Mood Disorders program shows 97 per cent of patients participated in their virtual visits, surpassing the 88 per cent of patients who were able to make their appointments in person at the hospital.

MyDovetale also gives patients access to their health information and allows them to manage appointments, see test results and message their care team.

Vair says if she is not feeling well, she can fill out a questionnaire through the app and share it with her care team. If necessary, they will set up an appointment.

MyDovetale is available for patients in St. Joe’s Integrated Comprehensive Care program and nine clinics, including Mood Disorders, Kidney Transplant and Firestone Ambulatory clinics. The portal will soon be available to all St. Joe’s patients

“In patients with chronic illness, such as mental illness or chronic pain, continuity of care and being able to see the effectiveness of treatment is an integral part of our work,” said psychiatrist, Dr. Zena Samaan. “They may need to miss appointments and then we don’t know how they are doing, and we can’t make care decisions without talking to them. This lets us have that continuity and make adjustments to treatment if necessary.”

Dr. Samaan recalls a patient who had an in-clinic appointment but had to stay home with her children unexpectedly. Instead of missing her appointment right before the holidays, they switched to a virtual visit. Another patient was able to use her phone app show an occupational therapist the spaces in her home where she may need adaptive devices.

“Some people may be uncomfortable at first or be concerned they will miss non-verbal cues. But we have to adapt and learn and modify our way of interacting. I have met patients’ family members this way and have seen their pets. I can see their environment and see that it is safe and well looked after,” said Dr. Samaan.

“One of my patients has three children under age five. This way, she can have her appointment sitting at the kitchen table while her babies are napping. This is the future of healthcare. This is not replacing in-person visits, but this blended model is going to be important.”

Since January 2019, about 1,000 patients have had access to virtual care through MyDovetale and more than 500 video visits have been done.

– Special to The News