Deep River and District Health (DRDH) is pleased to announce the launch of Integrated Virtual Care (IVC) at the North Renfrew Family Health Team (NRFHT), an innovative approach to connect patients with primary care providers.
IVC is an emerging model of comprehensive, team-based primary care with family physician leadership. Patients receive team-based primary care through a blend of in-clinic and at-home options, depending on the patients’ individual needs and preferences. Options to connect with family physicians include secure messaging, telephone, and video encounters from the patient’s home, and enhanced telemedicine options at the NRFHT.
Through IVC, patients are attached to a family physician who oversees all aspects of the patients’ primary care, and works closely with the on-site team at the NRFHT. Enrolled patients are part of the Family Health Team with access to its services and interdisciplinary care providers including nursing practitioners, registered practical nurses, dietitians, social workers, and administrative supports.
First implemented at the Petawawa Centennial Family Health Team (PCFHT) in 2021, IVC has been successful in improving equity in access to primary care for nearly 3,000 patients to date. The model is already demonstrating success, with patient satisfaction scores above 90%. Healthcare Excellence Canada selected IVC as an example of "promising practices to strengthen primary care in northern, rural and remote communities in Canada."1
“Following the success of IVC at the Petawawa Centennial Family Health Team, we are pleased to be partnering with the North Renfrew Family Health Team to expand this innovative model of care and connect even more patients with primary care services,” said Judy Hill, Executive Director of the PCFHT.
“IVC continues to demonstrate evidence that it will be impactful in the advancement of new models of primary care,” said Dr. Jonathan Fitzsimon, Family Physician and Medical Lead for Renfrew County Integrated Virtual Care. “IVC has already resulted in significant impacts for increasing attachment to primary care locally, and ongoing partnerships with researchers from the Insitut du Savoir Montfort and the University of Ottawa, Department of Family Medicine are helping to track progress and demonstrate the success of IVC.”
“We are excited to bring this innovative, proven model of primary care to the North Renfrew Family Health Team. IVC furthers our ability to ensure continuity of comprehensive primary care for our patients”, said Janna Hotson, President and CEO of Deep River and District Health. “Implementing this innovative approach supports our team to continue to connect all of our patients with primary care providers today. As an early adopter of this nationally recognized emerging model of primary care, we are well positioned to expand the model into the future to address the growing numbers of unattached patients in our community.”
At this time, family physicians will be assuming care for existing patients of the Family Health Team through IVC, ensuring continuity of care for those in our community with an already existing attachment to primary care. It is planned that IVC will be used to increase local capacity in primary care to address increasing needs over the coming years.
To put your name on the waitlist for doctors accepting new patients in our area, please call Health Care Connect at 800-445-1822 or click here to visit the Health Care Connect website.
Pictured here celebrating the launch of IVC are North Renfrew Family Health Team members Lauren Haggerty, NP, Allison Lepack, Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive, and Nancy Hearn, RPN.
1 “Promising Practices for Strengthening Primary Care in Northern, Rural and Remote Communities” Healthcare Excellence Canada, June 2023, https://www.healthcareexcellence.ca/en/what-we-do/all-programs/strengthening-primary-care/promising-practices-for-strengthening-primary-communities/