Why does TrueNorth feel it is so important to work with local community partners?
Nobody understands the unique health needs of communities better than local health providers. In our experience, we find that patients do far better when we collaborate with well-established community partners, than they do in more traditional "stand-alone" clinics.
By adding our program to these other local services, TrueNorth can offer a very convenient "one-stop shopping" model. Many of the illnesses TrueNorth treats are quite complex and our patients need to put a great deal of time and energy into recovering their health and well-being. If we can help make care more convenient and "hassle-free" then patients do better.
What are some of the community partners that TrueNorth has worked with?
TrueNorth has collaborated with a wide variety of local community partners including
• Residential treatment programs
• Detoxification programs
• Community health centers
• Primary care clinics
• Addiction service organizations
• Counselling services
• Community service agencies and not for profit organizations
I HAVE BEEN HEARING RECENTLY ABOUT “RAAM” (RAPID ACCESS ADDICTION MEDICINE) CLINICS. WHAT IS A RAAM CLINIC AND HOW IS IT BETTER THAN A “TRADITIONAL” METHADONE CLINIC?
There is a growing consensus in the addiction medicine community that the era of the "stand-alone" methadone clinic is drawing to a close. Over the past few years, various alternative models have been proposed, but the one that has been gaining a lot of recent attention in Ontario is the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine "RAAM" style clinic .
The single biggest thing that distinguishes “RAAM” clinics from “Methadone” clinics is the scope of services offered. While RAAM clinics can and do offer Methadone (as well as Suboxone), they also offer many other addiction medicine services as well.
TrueNorth proudly offers a full spectrum of RAAM services (in fact, our Hep C and HIV go well beyond the services most other RAAM clinics offer). The doctors we've recruited for our team have a tremendous knowledge base. In fact, many of the physicians on our team not only work for TrueNorth but also hold academic positions at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and various other teaching hospitals across Ontario.
I HAVE HEARD THE TRUENORTH TEAM USE THE TERM “TEEMAPP” RATHER THAN “RAAM” TO DESCRIBE THEIR MODEL OF CARE. HOW IS TRUENORTH’S “TEEMAPP” MODEL AN EHANCEMENT OF THE STANDARD “RAAM” MODEL?
As previously mentioned, what sets “RAAM” clinics apart from “methadone” clinics is the broader scope of services these RAAM clinics offer. But the problem with the traditional RAAM model is that there is often no way to find and recruit a team of addiction medicine experts to live and work in each and every community across Ontario.
To solve this problem, TrueNorth has worked with a variety of Telemedicine experts. Now all of our community partners can access TrueNorth’s clinical and admin services via the cloud. This is a huge advantage because TrueNorth has doctors and admin staff available via the cloud 7-days a week, 365 days a year. In other words, every single one of our sites has access to the knowledge and expertise of our staff from any site on any day.
We wanted a term that would help to distinguish our cloud-enhanced approach from the more “standard” or “traditional” RAAM clinic approach. The name our team has given to our cloud-enhanced "RAAM-plus" approach is TEEMAPP (Telemedicine Enhanced Expanded Medical Access Partnership Program). We choose the name TEEMAPP because it emphasizes that our “Telemedicine” model is based on community “Partnerships”, and the “Medical” services we offer go well beyond just methadone & Suboxone (and in fact go beyond just simple addiction medicine).
Our TEEMAPP model has been so successful that TrueNorth has been invited internationally to speak on the subject of using cloud-based technology to improve the delivery of addiction medicine care.