Sunnybrook creates Digital/Virtual Care Taskforce
January 6, 2021
TORONTO – Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has announced the creation of the Digital and Virtual Care Taskforce, led by Dr. Ilana Halperin (pictured on left) and Sivan Keren Young (pictured on right) and reporting to Sunnybrook’s Senior Leadership Team. While the hospital and healthcare sector in general have been exploring digital advances in healthcare for some time, the arrival of COVID-19 last year generated a rapid investment in virtual care solutions across Canada.
Frontline teams at Sunnybrook quickly embraced technology and pivoted quickly to new approaches in care, enabling clinicians to continue to care for patients safely and efficiently from a distance.
The rapid expansion and adoption of virtual care has the potential to become one of the biggest transformations in healthcare delivery of our time.
A 2020 study by Environics Research found that 70% of Canadians believe that virtual care “represents the future of healthcare.” This presents an opportunity for Sunnybrook to centralize its efforts and to develop a virtual care strategy that reflects the consistent and first-rate care that is synonymous with the hospital.
As Sunnybrook moves into a more integrated Team Ontario approach to healthcare, management and clinicians at the hospital believe that digital health will play a crucial role in helping residents of North Toronto, Ontario and beyond, to access care closer to (if not directly from) home.
As noted on the Sunnybrook website, “Not all problems in healthcare delivery can be solved by technology. Healthcare is a high-touch business. But as the past months have shown us, the untapped opportunities in digital innovation that can transform and enhance patient care and experience are endless, and they’re at our fingertips; this is why we’ve tapped two Sunnybrook leaders to bring the Virtual and Digital Care Taskforce together.”
Dr. Ilana Halperin
Dr. Ilana Halperin, who is a Sunnybrook staff endocrinologist and Innovation Fellow at Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, will co-chair the taskforce as Lead Physician, Digital and Virtual Care. An early adopter, Ilana was integrating virtual care into her practice before COVID, and she continues to cultivate and share her expertise as demand has rapidly grown.
Sivan Keren Young
Sivan Keren Young, who has led Sunnybrook’s digital communications strategy for the past decade, overseeing over a hundred patient-facing digital projects, websites and applications, will join Ilana as co-chair and as Sunnybrook’s Director of Digital Health and Virtual Care.
The co-chairs are looking forward to building upon the outstanding work already underway. In the coming weeks, Sivan and Ilana will be reaching out across the organization, and beyond, to engage in a collaborative and inclusive Team Sunnybrook approach to virtual care and digital heath.