New Brunswick Tele-Care Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Posted on Friday, January 23, 2015 under Healthcare

What started as a small pilot program out of two regional hospitals in Moncton in January of 1995 has grown to become a central fixture of healthcare delivery in the Province of New Brunswick. The two year pilot was initiated to investigate if appropriate and timely health information and advice could help people to make more informed decisions about where to seek care. After the two year regional pilot Clinidata Corporation was selected to expand the service into a province wide program.  With the acquisition of Clinidata in 1998 Sykes Assistance Services Corporation began a long and successful partnership with the Department of Health in the Province of New Brunswick. Since the beginning of the program Tele-Care has helped over 2 million New Brunswickers. Since the launch of the program Tele-Care has expanded to include a Poison Information Line, information services for West Nile Virus, Rabies and the Flu, an Organ and Tissue Donation Line, a Sexually Transmitted Infections Line, a Problem Gambling Help Line, and is also the home for Patient Connect NB and the recently launched New Brunswick Cancer Screening Line.  

By centralizing these services within the Tele-Care environment New Brunswick is able to take advantage of a bilingual highly scalable multi-channel contact centre environment thereby reducing the cost of implementing additional programs. To make the service even more accessible the NB Department of Health replaced the toll free number in 2010 with the easily remembered 811. In addition the program has implemented a model of care that ensures people receive the right information from the right provider.  This means that some times people will speak to a registered nurse about a clinical problem and in others they will receive more basic "way finding" information from a Health Services Representative, finally they can sign up for a program on the internet or respond to surveys or brief assessments using the key pad on their telephone. 

"New Brunswick has become a living lab for Sykes Assistance Services"  said Jim Murphy the company's Vice-President of Healthcare Strategy, who was with the program when it was first launched provincially in 1997.  Murphy also stated that "The Province's willingness to innovate has allowed us to develop initiatives such as our integrated physicians after hours service, our DADAR  syndromic surveillance application, our work from home environment  and our various automated self-serve solutions that are invaluable in times of emergency such as we experienced with the H1N1 pandemic of 2009".  

 About Sykes Assistance Services Corporation:

Sykes Assistance Services is Canada’s leading provider of contact centre based telehealth services, covering over 18 million lives with over 300 professional nurses and care managers available 24 / 7 to meet the needs of our clients.  Sykes provides symptom assessment, health information, addictions counselling, lifestyle coaching, remote monitoring, chronic illness support, and a variety of public health information lines on behalf of our government and industry partners.   

Operating four contact centres across Canada, Sykes Assistance Services offers a broad range of assistance based services including Healthcare, Emergency Roadside Assistance, Legal Assistance, Home Assistance and Customer Service Assistance.  For additional information, please visit www.sykesassistance.com  or contact us at 1 866 522 6148