OTN: COVID-19 Support Telemedicine Access

Updated: Apr 1

Telemedicine is accessible for all communities.  Please Notify OTN here if you need immediate access.


To support health care access during COVID 19 we would like to emphasize the availability of Telemedicine/Virtual Care at your organization for your patients.


As communities and organizations respond to their member’s needs for self-isolation or other public health practices during this time,  OTN would like to remind you about how you can access medical care for your members/patients via telemedicine.


Telemedicine/Virtual Care is Care. Virtual Care allows you to access care from providers outside your organization/community without having to travel.


There are many ways in which you can use the Ontario Telemedicine Network to connect your patients, health care team and administration to virtual health care services:


  1. Room Based Video Conferencing Systems– your organization may have a Telemedicine system on a cart or wall hung. This is one way to connect patients out to specialists and supportive services. You are the host to the patient connecting your patients to the care they need when they need it.

  2. Ontario Telemedicine Network- Virtual Connections- with an OTN membership, your team has access to the OTN HUB a virtual access for all of OTN’s products and services including the virtual video network access. Your team can use the virtual video access to connect to each other, to the main system in the organization, to specialists and to patients directly! Virtual Care for Providers- https://otn.ca/providers/  If your team needs OTN HUB virtual accounts, please contact Rebecca Swick directly and she can support the application and onboarding process.  rswick@otn.ca

  3. Managed Service Model Program (MSM)- in 2016 in partnership with KOeTS, OTN reached out to Indigenous Communities that did NOT have OTN access. An invitation to participate was sent out and 44 Communities joined the program. Each Community needed internet connectivity and an on-site support contact to work with the MSM team. Since 2017, the program has been growing and supporting many Community sites including elementary schools to connect patients to specialists.  The Telemedicine Navigator works with the on-site contact to support health care connection needs. For more information or if you are interested in joining the program, please contact The Telemedicine Navigator Allyson Gula at allysongula@kochiefs.ca.


For communities that have an active Telemedicine Network (OTN) membership with either a room based and/or virtual based access:


You can use your access to provide:


  1. Patient screening and assessment.

  2. Specialist care for patients requiring follow up.

  3. Support for your patients so that their exposure to COVID 19 is decreased as travel and/or in person attendance at the appointment is not required.

  4. Chronic disease management.

  5. Acute illness management that may not require a physical exam.

  6. Support for Mental Health and Substance misuse patients.

  7. Continuity of care.


OTN has also provided a COVID 19 tool for organizations to review about utilizing virtual access for patient care. Please see click here.


If you have any additional questions about your organization’s access, please do not hesitate to contact your internal Telemedicine Coordinator or Rebecca Swick, Indigenous Communities Lead at OTN. rswick@otn.ca



Communities WITHOUT OTN Access


During the current situation regarding the COVID 19 crisis we would like to emphasize the availability of Telemedicine/Virtual Care for Community Members to access needed health care appointments.


Currently there are 98 First Nations Communities with access to Telemedicine services in the Province of Ontario.


Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and its partners at Keewaytinook Okimakanak eHealth Telemedicine Services (KOeTS) are supporting a Telemedicine Program for First Nation communities intended to be a simpler and more convenient alternative to purchasing a room-based videoconferencing system.


All that is needed is:

  1. adequate internet connectivity

  2. computer or device with a working camera, speaker and microphone

  3. email access

  4. a designated community support person to work with the Telemedicine coordination team

  5. support from community leadership


For more information, please contact Allyson Gula, Telemedicine Navigator at 1-807-735-1381 X1380 or email Allyson Gula allysongula@kochiefs.ca .


KOeTS and OTN are hoping to support your needs during this health care crisis.

If you have any additional questions about your organization’s access, please do not hesitate to contact your internal Telemedicine Coordinator or Rebecca Swick, Indigenous Communities Lead at OTN. rswick@otn.ca


Chiefs of Ontario

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