CKHA Doctor Wins Telemedicine Award

CKHA Chief of Medial Staff Dr. Ranjith Chandrasena accepts his Champions Of Telemedicine Award (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s chief of medical staff is one of 14 recipients of the first-ever Champion of Telemedicine Awards.

Dr. Ranjith Chandrasena is being recognized for helping the hospital be one of the first in the province to adopt video conferences between patients and doctors.

Chandrasena says these video calls are particularly effective with mental health patients. “You’re able to not only verbally communicate what you want to do, but it provides the opportunity for facial expression, and to ‘be there,’ rather than just hear the voice.” 71% of conferences set up by the CKHA, through the Ontario Telemedicine Network, are mental health or addiction-related.

Chandrasena says his desire to promote telemedicine in CK came after working with a dementia patient in Wallaceburg. She would have to travel by ambulance for every appointment in Chatham. Chandrasena says it’s more cost and time efficient to set up appointments through the video service.