More than 100,000 patients in Ontario receive care via telemedicine

TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - In just four years, the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) has surpassed the 100,000 mark, facilitating the delivery of care for 102,781 patient consults in fiscal 2009/10, a 91% increase over last year.

OTN uses two-way videoconferencing and telediagnostic equipment to "connect' patients in one location with a health care specialist in another location for assessment, diagnosis and treatment - even in emergency situations. Available in every hospital and hundreds of other health care locations across the province, OTN is one of the largest and most comprehensive telemedicine networks in the world. Surpassing 100,000 patient consultations confirms OTN as an international leader in the use of communication and information technologies to improve access and quality of health care services for patients.

"This is a significant milestone for OTN and we are delighted to have been able to help our Member organizations and the health care professionals who use the Network to bring high quality care to patients across the province over the past year," said Dr. Ed Brown, OTN's CEO. "Facilitating care for more than 100,000 people is proof positive that telemedicine is becoming a mainstream channel for health care delivery. OTN is committed to developing and supporting telemedicine solutions that further enhance access and quality of health care for the people of Ontario."

In addition to being an efficient and effective use of health care resources, telemedicine makes access to care easier for patients by providing the care closer to their home, eliminating the stress, cost and time that accompanies having to travel to an appointment.

OTN by the Numbers: 2009-10

-  Clinical events - 102,781
    -  Educational events - 10,656
    -  Administrative events - 11,575
    -  TOTAL events - 125,012

    -  More than 3200 health care professionals use OTN.
    -  Care available across more than 200 therapeutic areas, including;
          -  mental health
          -  internal medicine
          -  oncology
          -  surgery
          -  paediatrics

    -  Number of Sites - 994
    -  Number of Systems - 1,860

An independent and not-for-profit organization, OTN is funded by the Government of Ontario. For more information, visit www.otn.ca

For further information: Rhona Lahey, (613) 244-3131