Upcoming COVID-19 tool launching in Oxford by Southwest Public Health and Primary Care Peers
In an effort to harness the strengths of primary care to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce the strains on our health care system and support public health with more population health data and insights, the London-Middlesex Primary Care Alliance teamed up with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), our hospitals, Western University and others to develop and implement a COVID-19 navigation tool.
On March 23rd, 2020, via a joint press release with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, they publicly launched this online tool that will help doctors navigate local residents through the important places of care in the right order and in the fastest time: the
, family physician offices,
and local hospitals.
In a very short time this tool will be rolled out to all of Ontario Health West with Oxford-Elgin being the next wave. We have been sitting with our colleagues in London and to discuss our areas unique needs and how our tool will integrate with our Primary Care Providers, our Health Unit, our Community Hospitals and the upcoming Assessment Centers.
Why use the COVID-19 navigation tool?
The features of the online tool, including templated assessments and care plans specifically for COVID-19, will improve patient outcomes and experience, help doctors make care decisions related to COVID-19, decrease pressures on the system, and provide our local Health Unit with critical population data and insights needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In particular, we hope the use of this navigation tool will reduce the volume of unnecessary visits to assessment centres and emergency departments.
The tool is easy to use and will connect you with the patients who need your help the most, and support you with processes and guidance based on your patients’ unique circumstances. In Phase 1, the connection is audio but very shortly the virtual visit component will be activated. Details regarding this will be updated as they become available.
The tool also tracks patient flow and collects important population-based data about trends in real time, which will enable us to tell other sectors about primary care’s COVID-19 experience from a sector perspective. Physicians are often asking for guidance based on the latest COVID-19 information and the tool will enable our Health Unit to push out information to all of us at the same time, in real time.
For more information and clarity please take a look at this webinar hosted by
. Please note that this is 1 hour long but does highlight the strengths of the tool.
Note that Partnering for Quality (
) will triage all of your support requests whether they are related to using the technology, getting personal protective equipment (PPE) for in office necessary visits or Infection control guidelines (IPAC). Additional resources to help with this technology will be available.
We acknowledge this is an extra step for doctors, but we believe harnessing the strengths of primary care to decant patients from assessment centres and emergency departments, while supplying important sector level data to public health and other parts of the healthcare system, are critical to flattening the curve.
Here are some resources to help you implement virtual care: