New app connects patients with their care team

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By Maria Hayes

When Sandy Lubert first met Claudia Leduc, a registered nurse in St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Mood Disorders Outpatient Clinic, it was because her psychiatrist knew she needed to connect with someone special. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and receiving care as an inpatient at St. Joe’s West 5th Campus, Sandy began to see Claudia at the clinic for counselling.

“Claudia isn’t just my nurse, she’s a lifesaver,” says Sandy, a former teacher and mother of three amazing sons. “She has given me so many tools throughout my journey as a patient. The more tools you have on the road to recovery the better.”

Claudia is now sharing a new tool with Sandy that she and her loved ones can use to help manage her care and monitor her health. Beginning June 28th, Sandy Lubert was one of 10 patients who first had access to MyDovetale from two participating clinics at St. Joe’s, which are the Mood Disorders Outpatient Clinic and the Kidney Transplant Clinic. MyDovetale is St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s secure online portal where patients and their loved ones can view their health information, coordinate appointments, see test results, fill out questionnaires and message with their care team. Enrolled patients can access MyDovetale from any computer or digital device using the Apple or Android mobile application.

Claudia was there when care teams on units and many clinics put down their pens to launch Dovetale, a bespoke digital health information solution that St. Joe’s developed in 2017 with Epic. MyDovetale is the patient’s window into the same solution. Claudia is excited for patients like Sandy to see the benefits of taking their therapeutic relationship online.

“MyDovetale is about bringing the care team closer to the patient’s story. I truly believe this is the missing link that will make compassionate care in the digital age a reality,” says Claudia, a registered nurse with in St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s Mental Health and Addiction Service for over 18 years. “Connecting using MyDovetale will make Sandy a bigger part of her own care team.”

Sandy and Claudia are looking forward to messaging one another on MyDovetale, so that Sandy can get timely answers to her health questions. That may mean less phone tag or extra appointments. Claudia is looking forward to assessing responses to questionnaires that Sandy can fill out from anywhere about her mood that day. That may leave more time in their next appointment to focus on strategizing care tactics together. Sandy will also have timely access to test results that can help indicate if her medication is working as it should.

Sandy is looking forward to how providing her partner access to MyDovetale will better include her in Sandy’s circle of care. “My partner works in tech, so she is very savvy. Access to MyDovetale will give her a bigger picture of what is going on in my care,” she says. “Also, when I’m really focused on my recovery, it can be difficult to keep track of all of my appointments and medications. If she can view all of this information too, it will be like two brains taking on what can feel like a burden. It will be a relief.”

More than anything, Sandy is grateful for her care team and St. Joe’s innovative approach to care. “I’ve met so many skilled clinicians here, it really takes a village to provide the best treatment,” she says. “I use apps and text my children all the time. It makes so much sense to have patients, family and loved ones engage in care this way.”

“At St. Joe’s, we set out to develop a holistic and patient-centred digital solution. MyDovetale is a great example of providing that to those we are privileged to serve,” remarks Tara Coxon, Chief Information Officer, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. “Now we’re looking forward to finding new and innovative ways to connect big data with better care for the people in our region.”

Maria Hayes is aSenior Public Affairs Specialist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.