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(Posted 8:30 a.m., Aug. 23)
Paliative care in Champlain Region goes high tech with video networking

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The care of palliative care patients in Eastern Ontario is about to take a giant step into the 21st century thanks to a video-conferencing network unveiled on Thursday.

The program, which is being funded by the OutCare Foundation, will allow staff at a dozen palliative care facilities in the Champlain Region to consult with more than 1400 health care professionals throughout the province using the Ontario Telemedicine Network.

The program is being made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of the OutCare Foundation which raised over $380.000 to make it happen.

OutCare Foundation chairman John Bradley, who hals from Navan, says the network will improve the care of palliative care patients by allow staff to connect with experts in their field.

“It helps to bring more expertise to the patients in their communities by providing access to training and expertise from a distance,” Bradley explained during a press conference on Thursday.

The technology is especially important in rural communities where palliative care access to health care expertise is limited up until now.

Besides the Bruyere Continuing Care and Ottawa Hospital palliative care units, the network will also include facilities in Renfrew, Kemptville, Cornwall and Hawkesbury.

By linking to the network, patients will be able to stay close to home while still accessing specialist-level advice generally limited to bigger cities.

Staff will also be able to participate in training programs, such as a weekly medical journal club run at Bruyère to discuss the most recent palliative research.

OutCare Foundation chairman John Bradley hosts a teleconference on Thursday announcing that 12 palliative care facilities in Eastern Ontario will soon be joining the Ontario Telemedicine Networl. Ottawa Citizen photo

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