Primary care program blending virtual with in-person options connects locals to family physicians

An innovative health care program called Integrated Virtual Care (IVC) developed by University of Ottawa researchers successfully matched residents in Renfrew County, Ontario, without family physicians to comprehensive, team-based primary care. The study addressed the shortage of family physicians in rural communities by connecting previously unattached patients to off-site physicians through virtual appointments. The program resulted in increased access to primary care, with over 2800 unique patient appointments conducted over seven months. The success of IVC in connecting residents to family physicians highlights the potential for similar integrated primary care delivery concepts in rural and underserved communities.

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