What is a virtual care hub

CaNVAS-IBD is a coordinated virtual care program aiming to provide the highest level of expertise in diagnosing and managing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, including facilitating access to diagnostic tests and procedures.  

A virtual care hub allows people with IBD to connect virtually with their gastroenterologist through phone calls or a secure online video platform. Each virtual care hub includes a lead gastroenterologist and a virtual care coordinator to facilitate eVisits. Each virtual care hub will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to promote person-centered care for individuals in underserved communities.

Location of CaNVAS-IBD Virtual Care Hubs

  1. Calgary, Alberta  -  Dr. Kerri Novak (University of Calgary)
  2. Halifax, Nova Scotia -   Dr. Jennifer Jones (Dalhousie University)
  3. Montreal, Quebec -   Dr. Waqqas Afif (McGill University)
  4. Winnipeg, Manitoba - Dr. Charles Bernstein (University of Manitoba)
  5. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -  Dr. Sharyle Fowler (University of Saskatchewan)
  6. Toronto, Ontario - Dr. Geoffrey Nguyen (Sinai Health Systems) 

role of a Virtual Care Coordinator

The role of the Virtual Care Coordinator is to optimize virtual workflow, coordinate plans of care and provide excellent clinical care in the management of IBD. In addition to real-time virtual visits with Virtual Care Coordinators and IBD specialists, the Virtual Care Coordinator provides patients with information, education, and support to empower them to make informed decisions and assume an active role in the decision-making process.

The Virtual Care Coordinator is typically the first point of contact for IBD patients and serves as the care coordinator, communicating with the IBD healthcare team and the patient to ensure that the treatment plan is triaged appropriately and carried out. The Virtual Care Coordinator also helps with patient education on the disease process and treatments, motivates patients to ensure adherence to their treatment plan, ensures continuity of care and are resourceful listeners who can provide patients with emotional support and clinical advice.

Virtual Care Coordinators:

  • Ensures patient privacy and confidentiality throughout virtual visits
  • Orients patients to the structure of the program, clinical protocol and staff 
  • Facilitates appropriate physical assessment and interim history taking during the appointment.
  • Collects the required health records and maintains access during the appointment for IBD specialists
  • Coordinates with IBD specialists at the virtual care hub to provide their clinical expertise
  • Ensures a successful virtual visit and troubleshoots technological difficulties as needed
  • Preserves patient privacy by closing the door and hanging the “Session in Progress” sign
  • Informs the patient that the Consultant will be on a secure encrypted network and will not record the session without the patient’s consent
  • Informs the patient of individuals present in the room
  • Maintains access to Electronic Medical Record (EMR) throughout the virtual care appointment. 
  • Ensuress the receipt of physical assessment from telemedicine studios, if applicable
  • Troubleshoots technological problems as needed.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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