Regeneration Community Services adopts use of virtual platforms to increase accessibility to services during COVID-19
Regeneration Community Services (RCS), Toronto faced a problem alongside the rest of the sector in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic: the need to reduce in-person clinical visits while continuing to provide safe & effective care to client-members. Ultimately, RCS decided to adopt a virtual care solution, the Ontario Telehealth Network’s (OTN) eVisit platform, to provide care via video to client-members wherever possible. According to Hannah Ross, Policy & Quality Improvement Coordinator, the decision to utilize this platform was based on privacy considerations and access of client-members to required technology. After an initial pilot with two staff, OTN eVisits was expanded to the rest of the Case Management team. Policy & procedures regarding virtual care, a script used to obtain the consent of client-members to receive virtual care, and an information package for client-members were developed. Client-members reported appreciating virtual encounters. Given the success of the project, RCS plans to continue with OTN eVisits post-COVID and are considering ways to measure client-member perception of care.
The Regeneration Peer support program faced the problem of how to continue social interaction & group activities that support mental well-being of the client members during the pandemic. As per Phillip Cox, Program Manager; the Peer Support Workers identified these service gaps during telephone calls with clients who expressed a need for some social activity. Rhonda Skene, Peer Program Coordinator took this information along with client feedback and her experience with Zoom to suggest and then coordinate the use of the platform for group activities. A monthly calendar was co-designed with the clients and the peer team. The weekly offerings include a Beat box (fun with music), Motown. Oldies but goodies, and good ol’ Rock N Roll meditation, group chats (with different themes) and peer to peer chats. The activities have been successful thus far and the Peer Support Workers are adapting to the higher demand, while also exploring other platforms like OTN. They anticipate use of virtual group’s post-COVID to avoid travel for house bound clients.
Congratulations Regeneration Team on this innovative change idea!