Creating safer at-home environments for healing

Virtual care can literally give health care providers deeper insight into patients’ at-home risks and enablers. 

Yonit Nisan, an occupational therapist (O.T.) at Baycrest Health Sciences used a virtual assessment to clarify and improve a home situation. “One of my clients has mental health issues as do the two adult sons who live with her. Until now, I would have made an assessment and recommendations based on what the client describes. But we’re not actually in the home and can’t verify the situation. 

During the virtual assessment, Yonit Nisan was able to make recommendations in real time.    

“A virtual home visit with the client, her social worker and a telehealth nurse connected three clinicians who collaborated during one visit.  We learned the client was living in an environment that was unsafe due to clutter.  Without the virtual assessment, the client might never have revealed this.  There was a stark difference between what we were expecting and what was actually the case.”  

Nisan brought home the value of changes to the caregiver who had, up to then, been hard to convince.  The virtual care intervention prompted the caregiver to take action to create a safer environment for their loved one. 

Jagger SmithProgram Director for Ambulatory Transformation at Baycrest Health Sciences hopes these kinds of successes can be leveraged by other health care providers. “We’ve been experimenting with different modalities of care using OTN,” he says. “Weve invented and created workflows and clinical competencies and developed skills we would be happy to share and promote in other organizations. We’d be happy to share our experience.”