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Administration of Practice

Telemedicine Services

Professional Standards Regarding the Provision of Telemedicine Services Preamble The College recognizes the role telemedicine plays in providing care and access to care, especially in remote and underserviced areas. The College maintains jurisdiction over physicians licensed in Nova Scotia regardless of where (i.e., physical location) or how (i.e., in-person or via telemedicine) they practice medicine. Physicians should be aware that practicing medicine using only electronic communication or across different jurisdictions, may affect their liability protection, and they should disclose such information to their liability protection provider. Requirements for treating patients via telemedicine vary by jurisdiction. The medical regulatory authority of the jurisdiction where the patient is located may require the physician to hold an [...]

Physician Use of Social Media

Professional Standards and Guidelines Regarding Physician Use of Social Media Professional Standards Physicians are responsible to act in a manner that upholds the professional standards and ethics of the medical profession at all times. Expectations of professional and ethical conduct are the same whether physicians are interacting in person or online through social media. When using social media, physicians must: Not communicate with individual patients about anything pertaining to their medical care. Do not doctor on social media; Ensure all communications are professional, ethical and in keeping with the standards of the profession. For example, physicians should refrain from portraying any unprofessional images of themselves [...]

Reducing the Size of a Medical Practice

Professional Standards and Guidelines Regarding Reducing the Size of a Medical Practice Preamble Tension exists between the professional duty not to abandon patients and the physician's freedom to manage the size of their practice. Physicians may not discriminate against patients at any time including when considering discharging them from their practice. As providers of professional services, physicians are bound by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination regarding provision of or access to services or facilities on the basis of age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability or mental disability, an irrational fear [...]

Temporarily or Permanently Closing a Medical Practice

Guidelines on Responsibilities when Permanently or Temporarily Closing a Medical Practice Preamble This standard sets out the expectations of the College regarding physicians who are closing their practice temporarily or permanently. The following standards apply to elective, unplanned, or imposed practice closures. The standard exists in order to ensure the continuity of care and the preservation of patient records. Professional Standards College notification  Physicians must notify the College of their practice closure and provide the College with their forwarding address. Physicians must also provide the College with the location of their medical record storage. Patient notification  Physicians must provide notice to patients of the closure of [...]

Infection Prevention and Control in the Physician’s Office

Professional Standards Regarding Infection Prevention and Control in the Physician's Office Preamble Ensuring safe and effective infection prevention and control measures is an important component of medical practice. Prevention and control measures mitigate the risks associated with infection transmission for employees and the public. The same standard of care for infection prevention and control is required in a clinical office setting as in a hospital facility. Professional Standards Physicians must maintain safe and effective infection control practices in their workplaces. In order to protect the health and safety of patients, employees and visitors in their offices, physicians must ensure that written policies and procedures are in place for the prevention and control of infectious [...]

Accepting New Patients

Professional Standard and Guidelines Regarding Accepting New Patients Preamble This professional standard and guidelines applies to all physicians accepting new patients in their practice. This standard reflects ethical responsibilities of physicians set out in the Canadian Medical Association’s Code of Ethics. Physicians who are accepting new patients into their practices should use a first-come, first-served approach. Decisions to accept or refuse new patients must be made in good faith. With respect to the specifics that may arise, the College provides the following direction. Professional Standard Physicians may not discriminate against patients at any time including when considering them [...]

Medical Records

Professional Standard Regarding Medical Records Preamble The primary purpose of the medical record is to enable all health care providers to provide quality health care to their patients. The medical record contributes to the quality, continuity and assessment of patient care. Complete and accurate medical records are those that meet all legal, regulatory and auditing requirements. Medical records are legal documents providing evidence of the health care provided to a patient. Medical records can be reviewed as part of a regulatory, civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. The requirements in this standard apply equally to both paper-based records and records in electronic format. Professional Standard The medical record must reflect all care provided. 1. Content [...]

Completing Patient Forms

Guidelines for Completing Patient Forms Guidelines The College considers the accurate and timely completion of necessary patient forms to be an essential aspect of good patient care. Physicians should develop and implement a consistent approach to completing patient forms.  Patients should be made aware in advance of the following: Fees for completing forms (in situations where form completion is not an insured service). Fees should be reasonable, consistent, and reflect the time required to complete the form.  For further information about billing for non-insured services, consult the Doctors Nova Scotia website links below.  Note that the College does not set or specify fees for non-insured services. How long it will take to [...]

One Problem per Visit Policies

Guidelines Regarding "One Problem per Visit" Policies Preamble The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia recognizes that unexpected demands on physicians' time can place burdens on practice schedules that are typically very tight. It is nevertheless essential that physicians respond appropriately to the needs of patients who present with multiple questions or problems. The College therefore encourages its members to be familiar with and to observe the following guidelines. Guidelines Avoid an inflexible “one problem per visit” policy. Be prepared to deal with additional problems or questions if necessary. Factors to take into account are the patient's age, degree of infirmity, intellectual sophistication, and the distance from their home to [...]

Withdrawal of Physician Services during Job Actions

Professional Standard on Withdrawal of Physician Services during Job Actions Preamble The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia ("the College"), as well as the public, the medical profession and the government of Nova Scotia, is concerned about the quality and accessibility of health care. The College acknowledges its obligation to communicate clearly to all parties what it expects from the medical profession in Nova Scotia during any withdrawal of services. The aim of this professional standard is to clarify the College’s position and expectations in the event that any College members choose to withdraw their services as part of a job action. This professional standard is similar to others instituted by other Canadian [...]