Many Canadian physicians working in primary care clinics have been rapidly reorganizing during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide care in a “virtual first” manner. Virtual care solutions enable physicians to maintain key primary care services for patients, with the additional goal of taking pressure off emergency services.
For physicians interested in learning more about virtual care, we have compiled a list of international, national and provincial resources.
A how-to overview about managing suspected COVID-19 cases using virtual care. The overview includes an excellent step-by-step visual guide.
National Specialist Body – Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
A helpful page of virtual care information from the Royal College, organized by province and territory.
National Regulatory Body – Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
This recent telemedicine policy provides high level reassurance that telemedicine is appropriate. Note that each provincial/territorial college has their own variations on this policy and Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia provide helpful examples.
National Medical Protective Advice – Canadian Medical Protective Association
Similarly, this resource providing reassurance regarding virtual care as long as due diligence is maintained in professional practice.
- COVID-19 Hub: Advice, support and medical-legal information
- Videoconferencing consultation: When is it the right choice?
National Family Medicine Body – College of Family Physicians of Canada
Modules two and six of the Best Advice Guide: Advanced and Meaningful Use of EMRs cover most aspects of virtual care in a simple and quick format for family doctors. Note that this is not an implementation guide.
National Medical Association – Canadian Medical Association
Working together with the CFPC and RCPSC, the CMA recently released the Virtual Care Task Force Report. An interesting read providing a good current state overview, but not applicable for rapid implementation of virtual care in a crisis.
Alberta Medical Association
Overview and latest updates about virtual care from the Alberta Medical Association, providing tips and references to practical toolkits.
Doctors of BC
The Doctors Technology Office branch of Doctors of BC has practical resources to get a clinic quickly up and running with virtual care. Their two documents, listed below, lead the clinic through the process in a practical, step-by-step implementation.
Provincial Health Services Authority
An overview about the use of the Zoom for Healthcare platform for virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The overview includes practical guidance for providers.
Information about virtual care during the COVID-19 crisis, including Manitoba specific physician billing codes for virtual care. In the short term, the resource notes that digital video conferencing solutions like Skype or Zoom are appropriate.
- COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Health Care Providers
- COVID-19 Guidance on Outpatient Care Delivery
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfound and Labrador Medical Association
Straightforward virtual care resource page for physicians including a practical toolkit, FAQ, webinar for family doctors and specialists, patient guide and a visual overview of video conferencing tools.
Nova Scotia Health Authority
To help support patient care and health care providers in the current COVID-19 pandemic in Nova Scotia, Zoom for Healthcare has been approved as a virtual care platform for use on an interim basis for all health care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals and staff). Visit the below link to read an overview of Zoom and virtual care.
Doctors Nova Scotia
Virtual care is an important tool to assist physicians in providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future. This toolkit includes everything you need to know so you can provide synchronous virtual care to patients.
The virtual care and COVID-19 resource page includes a step-by-step overview of virtual care, and provides a link to the Ontario Health Quality document. Also listed is a link to the recent webinar recordings featuring primary care and specialist doctors implementing virtual care.
Ontario College of Family Physicians
A poster for patients and the public with messaging about virtual care and telemedicine.
Ontario Telemedicine Network
Useful resource and training pages which include practical examples and workflows that clinics could adapt, using any platform (not just OTN invite).
Collège des médecins du Québec
A document providing information about virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic and a reminder of doctors' ethical obligations during this time.
McGill University Department of Family Medicine, Herzl Family Practice Centre
Learn about the essentials of telemedicine with the Herzl Telemedicine Essentials Guide — a practical, step by step guide covering the basics of video visits.
Government of Saskatchewan
Find general information about the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as information about visitor restrictions at health care facilities, personal protective equipment resources and clinical practice resources in a variety of health care areas.
University of Saskatchewan Faculty of Medicine
A helpful resource that provides an overview of virtual care, as well as additional information about best practices, guidelines, workflows and consents.
Government of Yukon
The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Medical Association have worked closely together to quickly set up new options for virtual care, including providing it to its citizens using the Doxy.me platform.
Do you have another valuable virtual care resource you think should be added to this list? Contact us to let us know.