by Dr. Chandi Chandrasena, OMD Chief Medical Officer
On September 30, OntarioMD (OMD) hosted its second annual Digital Health and Virtual Care (DHVC) Day Conference. This full-day online event was complimentary and featured CME-accredited educational sessions on digital and virtual care topics geared towards clinicians and the health care community. It builds on the legacy of our in-person flagship, award winning, EMR: Every Step Conference that took place annually prior to the pandemic.
DHVC Day was an inspiring day for clinicians and virtual and digital care enthusiasts, who had the opportunity to gain clinically valuable knowledge to enhance their practices. We received many positive comments and feedback from attendees, and the numbers also showed this. We welcomed over 2,500 registered and live attendees, including more than 1,200 physicians, representing 22 countries. By day’s end, there were 2,800 visitors on the OntarioMD.live conference site, and more than 5,250 accessing the live streams. What an outstanding turnout! And the numbers are still climbing, as many visitors continue to access recordings of the webinar sessions.
We kicked off this exciting event with opening remarks from our Interim CEO Dennis Ferenc and Board Chair Dr. Greg Athaide, alongside the Ontario Medical Association’s (OMA) President Dr. Adam Kassam and CEO Allan O’Dette, who welcomed attendees tuning in from all around the globe.
This year, DHVC Day coincided with the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. We marked this important occasion, honouring Canada’s Indigenous peoples and their history, by wearing ‘Every Child Matters’ buttons and featuring a keynote address from Dr. Sarah Funnell, Founding Director of the Centre for Indigenous Health Research and Education at University of Ottawa.
Dr. Funnell’s keynote, themed ‘Truth and Reconciliation: What will be your commitment to Indigenous Health in a virtual world?’, was both powerful and thought-provoking. Her talk explored the root causes of Indigenous health inequities and the need to “continuously ask why” they exist. She further recognized culture as treatment, offered a simple frame of social determinants of Indigenous health, discussed the role of virtual care in improving Indigenous health, and inspired participants to make a commitment to reconciliation.
Dr. Funnell shared many key takeaways, such as encouraging practicing physicians to “embrace trauma and violence-informed practice and training” as principles for creating a safe environment for patients. She highlighted the importance of engaging Indigenous elders and youth when planning a health system.
The keynote was followed by a robust lineup of CME-accredited educational sessions on a variety of digital and virtual care topics such as Remote Patient Monitoring, Physician Burnout and Technology, and more. I had the opportunity to conduct a session on Medical Apps for Patients, in which I recommended useful and effective patient apps, as well as a framework for assessing which apps to recommend.
With the recent increase in virtual care adoption, Privacy and Security was certainly a hot topic for the day. Ariane Siegel, OMD General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer, shared her insights on the Medico-Legal Aspects of Virtual Care, providing an overview of critical legal developments—specifically around virtual care issues—that took place over the past year, and upcoming legislative changes impacting clinician practices. Dr. Artur Gevorgyan also covered Privacy and Security Issues in Virtual Care and a Hacking Case Study, in which he addressed cybersecurity best practices, reviewed key privacy policies and laws, and shared his compelling personal experience (unrelated to his clinical practice) as the victim of a cyber attack.
The day also offered sponsored sessions and featured a Vendor Showcase. OMD Peer Leaders led informative EMR Training Workshops in the afternoon. The eventful day wrapped up with a session on Virtual Billing for Family Physicians, conducted by Dr. Rick Tytus, on behalf of the OMA.
The success of the day would not have been possible without the extraordinary collaborative team effort of OMD staff across the organization.
Thank you to all attendees for joining us at this year’s 2021 DHVC Day Conference. For those who were unable to tune-in, or to re-watch any of the sessions, recordings of the keynote speech and morning sessions are available online until next year’s event at OntarioMD.live/program.
For more complimentary educational opportunities on digital health and virtual care, check out our 10-part webinar series OMD Educates: Digital Health and Virtual Care Curriculum, as well as our Privacy and Security Training Modules for clinicians. For questions or more information on virtual care tools for clinician practices, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.