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What is the Virtual Obesity Clinics Programme?

The Virtual Obesity Clinics Programme is a unique educational programme focused on virtual obesity care. The programme consists of six modules that have been developed for obesity clinics and healthcare professionals (HCPs) with an interest in delivering high quality obesity care virtually.

The Virtual Obesity Clinics Programme aims to:

  • Improve practical skills and competencies in initiating and delivering obesity care
  • Advance the delivery of specialised, integrated obesity care

HCPs undertaking the programme will learn how to:

  • Successfully introduce virtual patient consultations and best practices into an existing obesity clinic model
  • Implement an integrated care model to support the patient journey within a virtual setting

Each module includes:

  • A one-hour virtual meeting
  • Pre- and post-learning activities to enhance the learning experience

Overview of modules

Click on any of the below icons for an introductory video and to learn more about each module, including the agenda, key takeaways and links to download supporting materials.

Panel

Nick Finer
MD

Deborah Horn
DO, MPH, MFOMA

Michael Vallis
PhD, R. Psych.

Sean Wharton
MD, FRCPC, PharmD

Richard Tytus
BSc.Phm, MD, CCFP, FCFP

Vicki Mooney

Sandra Elia
Food addiction counsellor

Georgia Rigas
BSc (Med) MBB, FRACGP

David MacKlin
MD CCFP

Click  here to read more about our panelists.

Module 1: Introduction to virtual obesity care

Introduction

Do you want to succeed in providing virtual care for people living with obesity? Join us for the introduction of the first-of-its-kind virtual educational experience.

Before you start

Click any of the below to download pre-meeting materials for Module 1, to support you in making full use of the module:

Module agenda

Virtual meeting agenda Speaker Time
Welcome & introductions Nick Finer 7 min
What should we know to deliver high-quality virtual obesity care? Deborah Horn
Michael Vallis
28 min
Navigating the virtual setting Nick Finer 9 min
Ask-the-expert All (panel) 10 min
Wrap-up Nick Finer 5 min

Learning session - Module 1 Introduction to virtual obesity care

Key takeaways from Module 1:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has changed policies regarding health services and the way healthcare is delivered
  • Telehealth boosts doctor-patient connectivity, improves access to healthcare services, and can be potentially cost-effective for both patients and HCPs
  • Telehealth includes virtual visits, store and forward, remote patient monitoring, and mobile health services
  • Challenges to the effectiveness of telehealth involve concerns around security, access and compliance
  • Proper communications is critical to maximising contact and minimising barriers in virtual sessions

To continue your learning, click here to access Module 2.

Module 2: Adopting an integrated approach in virtual obesity care

Introduction

Are you looking to adopt an integrated approach in virtual obesity care? Watch this short teaser video to see what you can expect in Module 2.

Before you start

Click on any of the below to download a package of pre-meeting materials for Module 2 to support you in making full use of the module.

Module agenda

Virtual meeting agenda Speaker Time
Welcome & introductions Nick Finer 5 min
An integrated approach to the three
Cs: Chronic, Collaborative and
Comprehensive Care
Deborah Horn
Vicki Mooney
Michael Vallis
Richard Tytus
35 min
Ask-the-expert All (panel) 15 min
Wrap-up Nick Finerr 5 min

Learning session (Module 2)

Key takeaways from Module 2:

  • Remotely acquiring the data needed to make care decisions for patients can be challenging, and may require collaborative pre-visit planning with the patient
  • Giving patients the option for remote patient monitoring can help move virtual visits down a more efficient and effective path
  • Virtual care makes patients more comfortable with seeking obesity care and removes some associated psychological barriers
  • Shared decision-making involves slowing down to understand, acknowledge, and empathise with the patient before giving advice
  • The most important aspect of virtual care is the patient experience, which is meant to be positive, supportive, and engaging

After you finish

Click here to download the Clinical Practice Assessment resource for Module 2, to support you in your continuous learning.

To continue your learning, click here to access Module 3.

Module 3: Clinical supervision during virtual obesity care

Introduction

"Sometimes, patients just want to be heard". Take part in Module 3 for more about clinical supervision during virtual obesity care.

Before you start

Click here to download the Optimising Virtual Patient Assessment resource for Module 3 to support you in making full use of the module.

Module agenda

Virtual meeting agenda Speaker Time
Welcome & introductions Sean Wharton 5 min
How to conduct clinical supervision in a virtual setting
What stage is the patient?
What is the patient's mindset?
Sean Wharton
Georgia Rigas
Vicki Mooney
30 min
What does the patient do next
New consults vs follow-ups in a virtual setting
Richard Tytus 10 min
Ask-the-expert
Practical advice on handling virtual consultation challenges
All (panel) 10 min
Wrap-up Sean Wharton 5 min

Learning session (Module 3)

Key takeaways from Module 3:

  • Sharing information with the patient during the consultation helps to build understanding and enhances the therapeutic relationship
  • Patients with obesity are sensitive to an HCP’s demeanor, and will be more open to engage if the consultation is free from weight stigmatisation
  • Dictating a patient note records the key points during the virtual consult, helps patients understand their care, and completes the documentation on the spot
  • Many virtual tools exist to support obesity management, including biometric monitors, Bluetooth smart devices, and platforms for online engagement
  • Optimising the patient experience is a priority in virtual care, and includes engaging with the patient at every level of the consultation

After you finish

Click here to download a Guide for patient clinical supervision, to support you in your continuous learning.

To continue your learning, click here to access Module 4.

Module 4: Personalised care part I: Lifestyle interventions

Introduction

Module 4 delves into personalised care through medical nutrition therapy and physical activity. Watch the short teaser video to hear more from leading healthcare professionals about why obesity is not just about body weight.

Before you start

Click on any of the below to download pre meeting materials for Module 4 to support you in making full use of the module:

Module agenda

Virtual meeting agenda Speaker Time
Welcome & introductions Nick Finer 5 min
How to make obesity management more personalised virtually
Effective virtual behaviour intervention
How to address diet/nutrition, lifestyle recommendations, exercise – setting goals
Setting realistic goals, strategies and treatment plans for patients with obesity – and managing food addiction
Michael Vallis
David Macklin
Sandra Elia
30 min
(10 min/
speaker)
Pitfalls and their solutions Richard Tytus 10 min
Ask-the-expert
Practical advice on handling virtual consultation challenges
All (panel) 10 min
Wrap-up Nick Finer 5 min

Learning session (Module 4)

Key takeaways from Module 4:

  • Obesity is not only about body weight, is a chronic disease that involves physical, mental, and emotional challenges
  • Ensuring efficient communication's systems such as a clear video platform and internet connection helps improve the virtual patient experience
  • The role of nutritional and physical therapy is to empower patients to overcome obstacles to achieve sustained behavioural change
  • HCPs can help reduce stigma by identifying achievable behavioural goals in the context of the powerful neurobiological complexities of food wanting
  • Healthcare providers should assess their own attitudes and beliefs regarding obesity and consider how these biases may influence care delivery

After you finish

Click on any of the below to download post-meeting materials for Module 4, to support you in your continuous learning:

To continue your learning, click here to access Module 5.

Module 5: Personalised care part II: Medical interventions and follow-up

Introduction

Module 5 covers medical interventions and follow-up. Watch the short teaser video for some highlights of the session.

Module agenda

Virtual meeting agenda Speaker Time
Welcome & introductions Nick Finer 5 min
Initiating pharmacotherapy virtually
How does the patient initiate the treatment – e-prescription, purchasing the product, initial use and feedback, follow up, adherence to treatment, how can patients stay in touch
Deborah Horn
Richard Tytus
25 min
(15 min Horn;
10 min Tytus)
Managing pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients in a virtual setting Georgia Rigas 15 min
Ask-the-expert
Practical advice on handling virtual consultation challenges
All (panel) 10 min
Wrap-up Nick Finer 5 min

Learning session (Module 5)

To continue your learning, click here to access Module 6.

Module 6: Virtual consults in a real-world setting

Introduction

Module 6 covers virtual consults in a real world setting. Before commencing the module, watch this short patient clip of Angela Chesworth. Angela highlights the important of having an open and honest conversation with your patient with obesity.

Before you start

Click on any of the below to download pre meeting materials for Module 6 to support you in making full use of the module:

Module agenda

Virtual meeting agenda Speaker Time
Welcome & introduction + Recap of Modules 1–5 Nick Finer 5 min
Role plays with physician and patients

  • Scenario 1: Real simulation of virtual consult between first-time patient and their physician
  • Scenario 2: Real simulation of virtual consult between follow-up patient and their physician
  • Scenario 1: Georgia Rigas & Angela Chesworth

    Scenario 2: Deborah Horn & Sandra EliaMichael Vallis (commentator)
    40 min
    Ask-the-expert

    Practical advice on handling virtual consultation challenges
    All (panel) 10 min
    Wrap-up Nick Finerr 5 min

    Learning session – Module 6 Virtual consults in a real-world setting

    Key takeaways from Module 6:

    • Strong patient provider relationships are essential for building self-efficacy and personal confidence in patients
    • Work with patients to develop an individual care plan, considering his/her readiness, preferences, values, and goals
    • Starting a conversation about pharmacotherapy does not mean the visit needs to end with a prescription

    HQ21OB00068, Approval date: May 2021

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