PRAXES and Wellington Medical Centre team-up to provide healthcare for students at Columbia International College
Doctor Allen Greenspoon has established a notable career as a physician in Hamilton, Ontario, with a special interest in obstetrics and occupational health. As co-founder and owner of the Wellington Medical Centre, Dr. Greenspoon has an entrepreneurial spirit. He has recently joined the team at PRAXES to support the Columbia International College pilot project. By working in tandem with PRAXES, Dr. Greenspoon ensures that the Hamilton-based Columbia school reduces unnecessary emergency room visits for international students, by treating many medical situations with telemedicine services and clinic visits as needed. He took some time to answer a few questions on this exciting project and the developing future of telemedicine.
You have a great deal of experience in primary and occupational health and you recently joined with PRAXES to work on the Columbia International College project. Can you outline your role with PRAXES and what it entails?
Specifically, my role is part of the pilot project with Columbia International College and I take primary telemedicine calls with respect to the healthcare of the students at the college. I’m representing PRAXES here and facilitating the clinic.
Why did an opportunity like this appeal to you?
Initially, I had approached Columbia because we had purchased a clinic right next to the school and I thought it would be a great opportunity to become involved in private healthcare. PRAXES became involved with the school through the insurance company Royal & Sun Alliance and I thought it was a great fit. I truly believe that telemedicine is the way of the future so I’m thrilled to be part of this project.
You have a wealth of experience in occupational health as a physician, and entrepreneur. In your opinion, how can telemedicine positively impact the health care system of the future?
I think that telemedicine is going to save a lot of money, and I think that’s very important going forward. There’s only so much money for healthcare. I truly believe that, certainly in occupational health, the downtime when an employee leaves work and goes to a clinic is very disruptive for them and their workplace. If they don’t have to leave and the situation can be handled through telemedicine, I think that’s a win-win. I believe that telemedicine will be rolled-out to the entire healthcare industry very shortly.
From your experience so far, what are the benefits for the school of handling medical incidents “the new way?”
The standard of care has been excellent. We’ve been able to treat many problems through telemedicine that would’ve involved unnecessary and costly visits to the hospital emergency room. I’m privy to the knowledge that during the first three months of this project the costs of healthcare for the Columbia School have decreased dramatically. It’s been a great experience so far for everyone involved.
In your opinion, why is telemedicine an effective and efficient way to assist other clients remotely?
I believe that about 28 states in America have made telemedicine a standard of healthcare and I know certain provinces such as British Columbia and possibly Nova Scotia have been looking at telemedicine as a healthcare opportunity. My son is a radiation oncologist at a major cancer centre and he uses telemedicine for remote radiation oncologists who need help. I truly believe that telemedicine will become a standard practice for healthcare. Even now, the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ontario have a policy paper on the standard of care necessary in telemedicine. I think that it’s only a matter of time before we’re all practicing telemedicine.
What has your experience been like working with PRAXES so far?
The team at PRAXES is very thorough, conscientious and on-top of everything. The EMR is excellent and if there are any problems I am very quickly connected with PRAXES Operations Manager Michelle Currie or someone who can help. It’s been such a positive experience. The EMR allows you to fax prescriptions, see rashes and produce a report that’s complies with privacy requirements. PRAXES is very professional and I’m enjoying the experience of working with them immensely.