Mitigate Further COVID-19 Spread

Mitigate Further COVID-19 Spread

Remotely Screen your Patients for Free in Canada Using aTouchAway™

Canada hasn’t had it as bad as some other countries. But things could spiral out of control very quickly, if prevention measures are not enacted. In light of the COVID-19 breakout, Aetonix is making the use of aTouchAway free for a couple of months for remotely screening potential COVID-19 cases.

It can be as easy as sending a link to your patients, whether you are a hospital, Nursing Home or a long term care agency. From there on, they could be remotely screened using a series of questions, connected to physicians if necessary, or even specialists in case of escalations. All this inside the privacy of their own homes, so further contagion is prevented.

Aetonix Systems Inc. started delivering remote care to patients in 2014, and was ahead of its time when all the legislation regarding telehealth and remote care was still being settled. Now in 2020, with its years of helping hospitals in Canada build remote care programs under its belt, it is positioned to help fight back against COVID-19.

* Refer to the brochure below on the simplicity of the remote screening process. Note that the case toll was from March 10th, for a more recent count, please refer to the Track the Outbreak link under helpful resources.

Response

Prime Minister Trudeau pledged a $1.1 billion fund to fight the COVID-19 that includes spending on a variety of activities. Such as immediate public health response, support for provinces and territories, work sharing programs, etc. Clinics have been set up in all affected areas to test for the virus, returning Canadians with COVID-symptoms are being quarantined on Canadian soil, before being reintegrated to society. University of Toronto developed a disease transmission model that predicts that the virus could affect a minimum of 35% of Canadians provided if half of the mild cases were identified and isolated. Individuals are advised to call their public health authority hotlines if they are symptomatic of the condition.

Ontario Reimbursement

Effective on March 14th, the Ministry of Health and Ontario Medical Association have created three temporary codes that enable virtual screening of patients via telephone and video.

Temporary Codes
K080- minor assessment of a patient by telephone or video, or advice or information by telephone or video to a patient’s representative regarding health maintenance,diagnosis, treatment and/or prognosis. $23.75

K081-a. intermediate assessment of a patient by telephone or video, or advice or information by telephone or video to a patient’s representative regarding health maintenance, diagnosis, treatment and/or prognosis, if the service lasts a
minimum of 10 minutes; or
b. psychotherapy, psychiatric or primary mental health care, counselling or interview conducted by telephone or video, if the service lasts a minimum of 10 minutes $36.85

K082- psychotherapy, psychiatric or primary mental health care, counselling or interview conducted by telephone or video per unit (unit means half hour or major part thereof) per unit $67.75

K083- Specialist consultation or visit by telephone or video payable in increments of $5.00

COVID-19 Sessional Unit
H409 per one hour period, or major part thereof $170.00

For further clarification, refer to the following bulletin.

Ontario has implemented enhanced Measures to Protect Ontarians from COVID-19, which includes enhanced access to screening.

British Columbia Reimbursement

The BC government and Doctors of BC have agreed that consultations, office visits, and non-procedural interventions where there is no telehealth fee may be claimed under the face-to-face fee with a claim note record that the service was provided via video technology or telephone are payable by MSP.

In addition, the General Practice daily volume limits are suspended. Services directly related to COVID-19 should include diagnostic code C19.

For a full list of BC’s telehealth/virtual care codes, see here.

Quebec

As of yesterday (March 16th), General practitioners in Quebec will be able to conduct consultations by telephone or virtually. Doctors in Quebec are encouraged to use this practice by The Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ) and also the government.

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Objective: To complete a thorough needs assessment / initial evaluation for a COPD patient of an outpatient clinic

Actors: Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT, the Physician could also be the educator)
Timelines: One 60-90 min session with the Educator.

Description: 
  • This protocol should be established for all COPD patients from a given clinic, independently of whether they are new patients or they are known to the clinic. This protocol is the basis to engage the patient into other protocols such as education, exacerbation follow-up, etc.
  • We need to identify patient goals/concerns to guide the interventions
  • A thorough evaluation is carried on, with the objective of understanding where the patient is on their disease journey and follow-up treatable traits: dyspnea, exacerbation or dyspnea and exacerbation.
  • It includes the use of objective questionnaires such as the mMRC, CAT, HADS, Frailty Scale, etc.
  • Identify if the patient needs to be referred to other resources (e.g. Physiotherapist, social worker, occupational therapist)
  • Once Onboarding is completed, the patient continues to the COPD Education workflow
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Objective: To cover in depth all the necessary elements of self-management education as per the LWWCOPD, with priorities based on patient goals and identified treatable traits

Actors: Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT or Physician)

Timelines: A number of “Core” educational modules have been identified which cover the basic COPD education from the LWWCOPD program. Additionally, optional modules can be used to respond to patient needs. The timeline (frequency, number of modules to be covered at a given education session) is fully customizable, although we recommend to have education sessions every 2-weeks during the “active” phase of education. Once this is completed, the patient continues to the Maintenance Mode (see below).

Description:
  • Launched at the onboarding protocol
  • Provide basic overview of COPD self-management based on LWWCOPD (medication adherence, inhaler techniques, PLB breathing technique & energy conservation) up to the development of an Action plan for early exacerbation recognition and management.
  • Prioritize self-learning by the patient (e.g. watching videos, reading educational materials, completing homework) in addition to live sessions with the Educator. Educational materials are sent to the patient directly via the platform, and become the patient’s own library. The Educator can customize which “homework” the patient receives.
  • Educators have access to “User guides” to standardise their educational intervention. These user guides include: objectives, interventions, suggested questions, evaluation of self-efficacy, and learning contracts for each module.
  • Once the core education is completed, the patient can continue to
  • The Respiratory Status Follow-up Workflow (run in parallel)
     
The Maintenance Mode:
  • As soon as the maintenance mode is engaged, the frequency of visits Educator/Patient is reduced to once every 6 months.
  • During the Maintenance Mode sessions, the educator has access to all the education modules and can choose any piece of content that needs to covered with the patient. 
  • A streamlined evaluation (similar to the initial eval.) is done during each “maintenance” visit to identify any substantial changes on the patient’s needs that will require some adjustment. The patient could come back to an “active” education mode (more frequent education sessions, e.g. every 2 weeks).
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Objective: Monitoring of stable patients from a clinic in order to identify early any aggravation of symptoms (exacerbation) and implement an action plan

Actors: Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT or Physician)

Timelines: Scheduled regular automated follow-up to the patient symptoms. Intensity/Frequency can be adjusted by the Educator depending on patient needs (e.g. daily, every week, etc.). Ongoing through the year.

Description:
  • Launch: Patients who have completed the Core Educational including setting-up an action plan.
  • Regular automated questions allow to identify any change in patient’s symptoms and severity.
  • If an exacerbation is detected the patient gets a reminder to engage their self-management strategies while waiting for the Educator to call back.
  • An alarm is generated for the Educator, so they immediately call back the patient. At this call they will evaluate any further intervention required and schedule additional follow-up.
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