Personalizing and improving access to medical care

Jessica Tsang of Direct Health Solutions talks about finding innovative ways to address health-care problems

Jessica Tsang is founder and director of Direct Health Solutions.

Jessica Tsang

What is Direct Health Solutions and how did it come about?

Tsang: Direct Health Solutions is a medical house call company that focuses on providing holistic person-centred care.

My grandmother has always expressed the importance for her to live in her own home. As her health started to fail, it became very challenging for us to bring her to her doctor’s office to get diagnosed properly and to get her prescriptions renewed. At that point, there was no company or clinic that could provide medical care in her home. Because we couldn’t get her to travel to a clinic, our family was stuck. This lack of access to medical care made her health deteriorate faster. She was forced to move into a facility and she died living in a place that she could never call home.

This experience convinced me to start my own clinic so I could help other families in similar situations. Medical care should be personalized and easy to access. If this service was available when my grandmother was alive, I think she would have been happier at the end of her life. This clinic is operating in honour of my grandmother.

Why is there a need for the type of business you offer?

Tsang: Our population is getting older and the majority of seniors say they want to continue living in their own homes. My company is unique because we’re the only clinic that’s devoted to providing medical house calls. Our average appointment time is 60 minutes because we spend the time to listen, understand and address our patients’ concerns.

We schedule visits so that the entire family can attend and participate (if the patient desires). We value and respect our patients’ wishes and do everything we can to ensure our patients live and die the way they want.

After starting the company, we’ve also had a surge of young and middle-aged adults requesting services because we live in a society that wants to be educated and empowered to manage their health better. We live in a world where we want quality and convenience.

There’s nothing more convenient than having our medical services delivered to you in your home or office. This includes medical assessments, prescription renewals, mobile lab and even mobile X-ray services.

The quality in our service comes from our approach to care. We take the time to listen, ask questions and create a tailored treatment plan based on our patient’s values. We provide choices and explanations to help our patients achieve their health goals.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in starting up your business?

Tsang: We receive no funding from the government, as provincial health-care doesn’t cover our services. As a private clinic, people assume we’re tailored to wealthy people. In reality, we ensure our prices are affordable so we’re able to provide medical care to those who need it the most.

What’s your background in this field?

Tsang: Before I became a family nurse practitioner, I started my career as a registered nurse and gained experience working in ICU, urgent care and in the community. This provided me with the opportunity to see the gaps in our health-care system and find innovative solutions to the problems.

I’ve also worked on the management team for a home care company and an assisted living site. This provided me with experience on how to lead a health-oriented company. That’s when I decided to further my education to start my own family practice medical clinic.

What are your plans for the company?

Tsang: The first step is to ensure every Calgarian is aware of our services. The next step is to provide services across Alberta and eventually across Canada. My goal is for the company to grow nationwide so every Canadian may benefit from our services.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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