New pilot at Horizon’s Upper River Valley Hospital providing increased options to ED patients

(WATERVILLE) – Horizon Health Network is pleased to announce the launch of a new pilot project at Upper River Valley Hospital (URVH) aimed at improving patient care delivery in the Emergency Department (ED).

This initiative, developed in partnership with eVisitNB’s virtual care platform, will provide patients with non-urgent medical needs a parallel option to see a physician or nurse practitioner while waiting in the ED through their smartphones or mobile devices.

With a commitment to optimizing patient experiences and addressing the issue of lengthy ED wait times, Horizon has forged a partnership with eVisitNB to offer a novel solution for non-urgent cases. The virtual care pilot project is designed to streamline resource allocation and enhance the overall efficiency of URVH’s ED.

“We recognize that patients with non-urgent medical needs often seek care in the ED due to limited alternative options. Our partnership with eVisitNB represents a major step forward in providing patients with timely access to a nurse practitioner or physician while they wait,” said Steve Savoie, Horizon’s Executive Regional Director of Emergency Services “This pilot project aligns with our patient-centric approach and showcases our commitment to leveraging innovative solutions to enhance patient care.”

Approximately half of all patients at URVH’s ED are triaged at Level 4 or 5 according to the Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS), indicating a significant number of non-urgent cases.

The virtual care pilot project aims to address this issue by offering a secondary option for these patients to receive virtual care through eVisitNB’s web-based platform. This not only reduces wait times but also enables ED staff to focus on patients with more urgent medical needs.

Lack of access to primary care providers often compels patients to turn to the ED as a last resort. The introduction of the virtual care option provides an alternative pathway for patients with non-urgent medical needs.

Simple, step-by-step information will be available in the ED waiting room to guide patients on how to register and connect to eVisitNB, empowering them to seek appropriate care while waiting to see an ED physician or nurse practitioner.

Registering for eVisitNB does not disqualify patients from their opportunity to be seen in the Emergency Department. On the contrary, it provides an innovative approach to seeking medical care, allowing patients to explore virtual healthcare options while reserving their place in line to see an ED physician or nurse practitioner.

The project also aims to mitigate patient frustration and decrease instances of patients leaving without receiving necessary care. The utilization of eVisitNB’s virtual waiting room will offer less-urgent patients the opportunity to consult with a physician in a potentially more efficient manner, thus alleviating strain on the ED and helping to ensure timely care.

“We are excited to collaborate with Horizon on this innovative project. By bringing together technology and healthcare, we are offering patients in New Brunswick with a modern and flexible way to access medical care,” said Dr. Hanif Chatur, co-founder and CEO of eVisitNB.

“Our goal is to empower patients with the choice to seek timely medical attention through virtual consultations while maintaining their place in the queue for in-person care if needed. This initiative exemplifies our commitment to improving access to care and putting patients at the centre of their care journey.”

The virtual care pilot project is aligned with successful implementations of similar virtual health initiatives in healthcare organizations in other parts of Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, and the United States. By embracing available technology, Horizon Health Network is adopting a scalable and sustainable solution to enhance patient care delivery.

Improving access to critical health care services, including emergency care, is a key priority in Horizon’s plan to ensure all patients and clients receive the quality care they need. This plan consists of three other priorities: improving recruitment and retention; improving the overall patient experience; and improving patient flow at our health care facilities. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at  This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action

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For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations