The negative consequences of isolation from family and community supports are an added burden to patients coping with illness at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). Telemedicine visitation was promoted during the H1N1 pandemic when visitor restrictions separated families. Telemedicine virtual visitation was successfully offered to patients in the Intensive Care Unit, and now, videoconferencing connections have been placed on every in-patient unit. Now all patients can be “reunited” with their families and community supports by video link. TBRHSC is the major health services provider for the Northwest LHIN, a geographical area the size of France. The population is sparse (250,000) with 100,000 living in Thunder Bay and the remainder scattered in small communities over the Northwest. For many people, telemedicine is a vital link to family and services outside their community. As one of the biggest users of telemedicine in Ontario, TBRHSC continues to find creative ways to bring health care closer to home.

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