Dr. Rithesh Ram is formally trained as a family physician, but his specialty and passion is that of a Rural Generalist in Drumheller, Alberta. Aside from his MD, he has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Calgary. Dr. Ram is passionate about teaching, with clinical appointments at both the U of C and the U of A.
He is also Director of the UCLIC Program (University of Calgary Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship) which is a research-based, educational experience that allows medical students to learn in the continuum of patient care throughout rural Southern Alberta.
Dr. Ram is highly involved in many leadership roles locally, provincially, and nationally including treasurer of his PCN, President-Elect of the Alberta Medical Association Section of Rural Medicine, former Chair of the Alberta Medical Association’s Health Issues Council, and former Provincial Knowledge Lead for Primary Care for Connect Care / CKCN.
Dr. Ram opened his award winning patient medical home / primary care practice, Riverside Medical, in 2017. He and his team have been using the Alethea platform since the summer of 2021. We had the chance to check in with Dr. Ram this month to learn more about his experience using Alethea. Here is what he had to say!
Q: What benefits do you get from using the Alethea platform?
A: Tonnes. But specifically, the seamless and efficient answers that we get for patients is a 180 degree, night and day difference for so many of the specialties that we are able to consult with through the platform. As an example, I don't even recall how long we used to wait for Dermatology and ENT consults. The fact that I can consult these services through Alethea has made any and all related skin and ENT questions just an extension of my visit with a patient, rather than a hurry up and wait situation.
Q: How do you integrate the platform into your practice?
A: I use it seamlessly with any patient encounter that requires a consult or question to be answered with a related specialty.
Q: How have your patients benefited through your use of the platform?
A: Faster answer, faster investigations based on specialist recommendations. Overall, better care.
Q: Which features on the platform are most useful to you?
A: The App is the most helpful as I can take pictures / videos no matter where I am (clinic, hospital, home). Being able to cut and paste on a computer is also very helpful and less time consuming than needing to input everything separately from the EMR.
Q: Do you have any tips you might share with a physician who just started using the platform?
A: Make it a part of your typical encounter with a patient. It is not the same as needing to grab a piece of equipment, think of it as part of your EMR.
Q: Which specialties have you found to be the most useful when accessed using Alethea?
A: All of them. But I definitely have used ENT and Derm the most, and they often compete for how fast they reply to requests.
Q: Is there any information you would like to share with other physicians who may be interested in getting started with the platform?
A: Stop thinking and just do it, because you have no idea how much of your patients' time is wasted asking for help the “old fashioned way”.
We would like to thank Dr. Ram for taking the time to share his feedback with us. If you are a Family Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Specialist interested in learning more about Alethea or signing up today, please visit our Get Started page.