Respirology Rehab Clinic Expands at FCHS

(Newbury, ON) –Four Counties Health Services (FCHS), part of the Middlesex Hospital Alliance, has expanded its Respirology Rehabilitation Clinic through the use of technology supported by the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN).

The hospital, in collaboration with Sarnia-based respirologist Dr. Gautam Soparkar, will now conduct “virtual” clinic visits with the use of videoconference equipment, leveraging digital stethoscope technology.

The introduction of this digital stethoscope seamlessly relays a patient’s heart and breath sounds and allows Dr. Soparkar to provide care from his clinic in Sarnia to patients in Newbury with the support of nurse practitioner Lesa Marsh.  The digital stethoscope can seamlessly relay heartbeat and breathing sounds across a secure network, allowing Dr. Soparkar and Lesa Marsh, FCHS Nurse Practitioner, to jointly assess and discuss care with the patient.

Lesa Marsh, stated, “Patients are very positive, inquisitive and appreciative that these services can be maintained close to home.”   Currently this clinic is offered monthly and is able to accommodate up to 12 patients per clinic day.

“I am very satisfied with the service provided at Four Counties Health Services.  It saves me time with an unnecessary trip into London,” said Mr. James Sawyer, the clinic’s first virtual patient.

Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of OTN, said the clinic provides the right care in the right place at the right time, a priority for a transformed healthcare system in Ontario.  “Virtual medicine is the future of patient-centred health care.  Congratulations to Four Counties Health Services for taking this important step.”

“This program is another example of the renewed vision for patient care at FCHS and our commitment to provide care for our patients closer to home. Congratulations to the project team for this successful accomplishment.” says Todd Stepanuik, MHA President & CEO.

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