Organization: Village Family Health Team
Industry: Health and Medical
Contact: Diana Noel, Executive Director.
Web References: VFHT, WellX, GoogleX, MobiHealthNews, Accenture, Klick
Liberty Village is a masterfully planned community that blends residential, commercial and retail space in one enclosed neighbourhood.
The village has a mixed crowd of young professionals who work in media, high-tech and design businesses. It is also the perfect place for Web 2.0 start-ups, film and television production, and young professionals and entrepreneurs who live and work in the community. Liberty village has a unique urban energy and an attractive modern lifestyle that stands out from the rest of the city. There is an important component in this community, located at the heart of the village and it plays an important role in keeping everyone well and healthy: The Village Family Health Team.
The Village Family Health Team started 4 years ago, and in that time it went from 0 to almost 12,000 patients. The clinic is growing as fast as the neighbourhood and its surrounding areas. They have a young professional team that fits perfectly in the neighbourhood. Diana Noel, Executive Director of the VFHT explained how social media and technology have helped them to have a modern and efficient service for the community. People are keen to use technology, not only between doctors and patients, but also between the staff and health care providers. VFHT uses internal tools that allow them to share documents, policies and procedures rapidly at their work stations; they also work with electronic medical records to communicate with other specialists when they do referrals, which allows them to eliminate phone calls, patients taking documents and more. They are also able to attach documents to referrals to have a high level of accuracy. VFHT has a very comprehensive and well-built website that is updated frequently, and they also use Wellx, a secure email link between the patient and doctors. In fact, in order to get this interview, I sent a question to my family doctor at the VFHT, and in matter of minutes I was referred to Diana who was able to accommodate my interview within less than 24 hours. According to Diana, Wellx systems allow patients to communicate effectively with their doctors for non-urgent matters. Their questions are quickly answered, and most of the time it is not necessary for a patient to take time off work. This way the doctor can also follow up with patients to check how they are responding to medications or how are they feeling among other things.
12,000 patients in only 4 years is a good achievement for VFHT. A good team needs good technology. VFHT is definitely an example of excellent management and a good source on how to use technology and social media in a clinic. Technology and communities evolve rapidly, and VFHT is evolving alongside them.
Their service is modern and efficient, they plan to keep updating not only the way they communicate with patients and other service providers, but also to stay current with the latest medical and health technology. This could go from helping patients to book their own appointments, to the use of wearable devices that will help patients to monitor their health.
Devices and technology are helping manage people to communicate more directly with labs, hospitals, institutions, and specialists, in order to get information and results. This is a more integrated way to receive feedback: you can use that information by trending topics like blood pressure over time and using that information in the clinic to identify areas that need to be focused on, and also can also be used in a provincial stand point to create policy.
Some news about ehealth
Google (The life sciences team at Google X) is building a wearable health sensor for cardiac and activity tracking. It is important to mention that this isn’t a Fitbit or Apple Watch competitor: Google’s device is a clinical-grade sensor designed for investigational use. This will be used in clinical studies to see if/how a continuous stream of medical-grade measurements of biological signals (e.g. pulse, skin temp, activity levels) could be useful to physicians and researchers as they try to understand and intervene earlier in disease,” a Google spokesperson told MobiHealthNews. “This could give them insights that are currently only available sporadically — e.g. via a diagnostic test, or when a patient is being observed in a clinical setting.”
Accenture is also saying what the five trends in ehealth are according to their point of view:
- Personalized healthcare
- Devices and Internet of Things
- Platforms and integration
- Big data and machine intelligence
- Workforce improvements
It is also interesting to read a klick.com article in relation to the top 41 health –oriented social media influencers in ehealth.
Lesson for others:
There is a lot to read about this topic, there is also a lot to be discovered, and social media and technology are evolving rapidly and creating a much better world for people.
At VFHT there is a young professional team that is bringing new ideas that are being implemented with the last trends and technology advantages. Their success is definitely a mix of the use of modern technologies to communicate plus an updated software and hardware equipment and knowledge. Looking at the future is the best way to succeed with your present.
Submitted by: Fernando Gomez, Social Media for Business Performance program. University of Waterloo.
Original Video and audio: Fernando Gomez and worldcommunications.ca
Thanks to Diana Noel for accommodating the interview with such a short notice.
To contact the author of this entry please email at: Fernando@worldcommunications.ca
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance. University of Waterloo.