Meet our Physician Partners
Working Together for the Health of our Community
Dr. James Lane,
South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team Digital Health Lead and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for Collingwood General and Marine Hospital
Dr. James Lane is currently the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team Digital Health Lead and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. He began his family practice in Stayner in 1989 and has been working and living in the South Georgian Bay Community since then.
“I wanted to practice in a smaller community that offered outdoor experiences and also had a small-town feel. It was really important for me to live somewhere that was big enough so that it had resources and diversity, but also small enough where you still know who your neighbours are. I think the size of the communities in South Georgian Bay are awesome! I remember, driving up in the fall from Kitchener, where I lived at the time, to the top of the mountain by Devil’s Glen where you can see the whole bay. As I was looking down I thought to myself that this was a great place and I had to live here.”
Developing Digital Health Tools for Greater Connectivity
Read Dr. Lane’s Thoughts on Digital Health, Innovation and Transforming Patient Care
A Digital Health Transformation
Virtual care allows online appointment bookings and communication between the health and community care sectors. This helps to make sure referrals and transitions across the health and social system are easier and smooth, regardless of the needed care. Collaborative planning across sectors, using innovative digital health solutions, sees providers working together for the health of everyone in the South Georgian Bay community.
The pandemic really exposed the necessity to have digital health options in place. We now have solutions in place that allow us to connect with not only primary care but anyone who is on our system. This includes any specialists, home and community care, coordinators, midwives, and so on. There are many providers that are able to use that technology.
It also allows electronic communication in a secure manner with patients being able to access the information on any computer, tablet or phone that they want to use. So that’s been very helpful as patients are now sometimes reluctant to want to come into the office and we can do communication using that secure platform.
Virtual Care Together
One of the key priorities of the South Georgian Bay Digital Health and Innovation Action Team, chaired by Dr. Lane is to advance patient access to care and services through digital platforms, including online appointment booking and having access to virtual appointments.
To support this work, the SGB OHT has collaborated with partners across Ontario, and Canada to provide the following resources to the community:
- Participate as a selected member of the Healthcare Excellence Canada Virtual Care Together Collaborative to support clinicians and patients with virtual care tools to provide high quality and safe virtual care services
- Enable all primary care providers in South Georgian Bay with the tools they need to see patients by phone or video virtual video visit when appropriate
- Support all primary care providers in South Georgian Bay with the ability to offer online appointment booking and secure messaging to their patients
- Collaborate with other Ontario Health Teams in Central Ontario to adopt a common provincial patient portal application
Enabling patients to digitally access information and care really helps patients to receive the best possible care in the most timely manner. It also allows us, as physicians, to provide care in the most efficient way possible. In South Georgian Bay, through the Ontario Health Team, what we’ve been trying to do is to provide additional resources and systems to enable electronic communication with patients and between providers. It’s really about being able to provide interactions with patients how they would like. This includes booking their appointment electronically to providing a visit either in-person, by phone or an enhanced virtual method using video. We’ve chosen a system that is very easy for the provider but more importantly for the patient to use and set up.
Accessing Virtual Visits and Online Appointment Booking
Our local Collingwood After Hours Clinic and many doctors in South Georgian Bay are now offering virtual visits to their patients when it is appropriate, and can be supported by the patient. If you are interested in learning more, ask your doctor about how to be seen virtually.
Online Appointment Booking:
All primary care doctors in South Georgian Bay are currently being supported by the SGB OHT to offer their patients online booking! Click the link below to see if your doctor is offering this service. If your doctor doesn’t yet offer online booking, stay tuned, they are in the process of training and onboarding, and will be available soon!
Connecting System Across Health and Social Services
A collaborative project with 211 Community Connection, The eHealth Centre of Excellence and Cognisant MD.
This collaborative project is developing the first Community Information Exchange (CIE) in Canada by expanding the community’s ability to easily connect and share information across the system to support the social determinants of health (including access to healthy food, education, employment, and income). Through this project, a referral is sent in to 211 from a patients doctor or from the community. 211 then contacts the patient and connects them with the resources they need, and sends an outcome report back to the patients provider all through one central electronic information exchange system with the patient engaged at each step.
Digitally enabled Ontario Health Teams create opportunities to establish more efficient channels for delivering services. This eliminates traditional faxed referrals and automatically updates the patient’s medical chart and care team about the patient’s care and health and social needs. This project helps fill the gap that exists between health care and community services to better address the unique needs of our most vulnerable residents. By creating a central digital platform to facilitate care for mental, physical and social health, this program will not only lower this barrier for South Georgian Bay residents but can serve as a model for communities throughout Simcoe Muskoka and beyond. This new project will help to identify gaps in services that exist in the local community to improve access to services. It will provide us with additional data as an Ontario Health Team to inform future program planning to address any gaps in providing 24/7 navigation to resources for patients.
The ultimate goal of this project is to better identify the social determinants of health needs in our community, provide 24/7 coordination and system navigation service, and connect our local systems. Once developed, this will be the first CIE project in Canada and will enable our Ontario Health Team to establish more efficient channels for delivering services, which can be replicated to across Ontario.
This investment will enable us to be connected to the Ontario Health Team’s eReferral technology. This eliminates traditional faxed referrals and automatically updates the patient’s medical chart so the patient and their care team, including their primary care provider, can be continuously updated as to the status of the referral.
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