Thunder Bay now supporting cancer patients virtually
February 2, 2022
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and Regional Cancer Care Northwest is now virtually supporting oncology patients through their cancer care journey using SeamlessMD. SeamlessMD is the Digital Patient Engagement platform keeping patients in Northwestern Ontario engaged in their care, educated and connected safely while at home – particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This initiative is supported by the Government of Ontario, which has approved one-time funding to implement, enhance, and scale virtual care supported models to support integrated care delivery. This funding is intended to increase access to care for patients by way of key virtual programs and services, transforming how care is delivered, during and after the pandemic.
SeamlessMD provides an end-to-end virtual companion for patients through chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and survivorship. In addition to the previously live 10 surgical and procedural programs (hip, knee, shoulder, spine, bariatrics, colorectal, breast cancer, TURP, HoLEP, kidney stones) at TBRHSC, the digital patient engagement platform will be expanded to support oncology-specific programs (breast, lung, head and neck, colon, prostate and gynecologic cancer). This will assist with system increase patient throughput by reducing readmissions, average patient length of stay, and certain follow-up visits.
“SeamlessMD has been an invaluable technology partner for us to engage, monitor and stay connected with our patients navigating their care. We are excited to now roll out the technology to support our cancer care programs,” said Caroline Fanti (pictured), director, regional surgical services at TBRHSC. “SeamlessMD is a user-friendly platform that enhances the oncology patient experience by reducing anxiety, inspiring confidence and allowing the care team to effectively monitor our patients, provide better patient navigation, and reduce phone calls that require intervention from a nurse.”
TBRHSC collaborated with SeamlessMD to customize cancer care protocols and content on the platform so patients now receive:
- Virtual check-ins post-surgery and therapy (e.g. chemotherapy, radiation) to identify medical concerns, track medication intake and monitor treatment side effects to help catch complications sooner, improving overall patient outcomes;
- Interactive guidance through reminders, daily tasks and evidence-based education on pre- and post-cancer surgery instructions, chemotherapy, medication compliance tracking, treatment planning (e.g. tattoos, body molds), radiation therapy side effects, diet recommendations and post-treatment monitoring;
- Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) surveys to track Quality of Life assessments, and Symptoms and Adverse Events (AE) Tracking so both patients and providers know the progress throughout the journey; and
- Automated self-management recommendations based on patient self-reported symptoms, with personalized self-care education.
“We are excited to continue innovating our oncology program to provide safer patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Andrea Docherty, program director for Regional Cancer Care Northwest. “SeamlessMD provides an exceptional resource that helps our patients stay on track with their care and allows us to monitor symptoms and side effects of oncology treatment; in addition, providing important, timely engagement for patients across their entire cancer journey.”
To date, over 1,500 patients have already enrolled onto SeamlessMD at TBRHSC, with 98% recommending the program to others, 94% saying the program helped them feel more confident before surgery, and 96% saying the program helped them feel less worried while recovering at home after surgery.
“Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been a trailblazer in delivering exceptional oncology care,” said Dr. Joshua Liu, CEO at SeamlessMD. “We are thrilled to support the organization as it continues its innovation efforts, empowering oncology patients at home, while protecting the health and well-being of the community through remote care.”
About Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), a 375-bed academic specialized acute care facility, is a national leader in Patient and Family Centred Care. As the only tertiary care provider in Northwestern Ontario, TBRHSC provideS comprehensive services to a population of over 250,000 residents in a region the size of France. Effectively addressing the healthcare needs of patients and families has earned TBRHSC both Innovation Awards and Leading Practice Designations. As an academic health sciences centre, TBRHSC teaches the next generation of healthcare providers and advance medical research. Patients benefit from interprofessional teams of dedicated healthcare providers and access to leading-edge medical technology and clinical trials.