NSHA – Virtual Appointment Practice Guidelines & Implementation Guide
In response to the global pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization, implementation of these guidelines when providing care via telephone in your clinics is necessary:
- Use professional judgement to determine whether patient consult via telephone is appropriate in a particular case.
- Ensure the physical setting in which the care is provided provides for confidentiality.
- Ensure patient safety by being aware of patient’s location and proximity of services
- Request patient’s next of kin or alternate support person in the case of an emergency.
- During telephone appointments we are unable to complete a physical assessment therefore, we are relying on the patient to provide us accurate information. Keeping this in mind, documentation is vital.
- Call 911 or follow standard emergency protocols for an immediate emergency response as needed.
Please read the full Virtual Care Guideline document from NSHA.
NSHA – COVID-19 Virtual Visit Implementation Guide
This document is intended to:
- Assist providers in developing a plan to integrate virtual visits into their practice;
- Advise on the types of services where virtual visits should be considered under the current circumstances.
Please read the full Virtual Visit Implementation Guide.
Advice to the Profession Regarding Virtual Care During the Pandemic
COVID-19 is putting tremendous pressure on our health care system, in particular those working on the frontlines. While the College expects physicians will practice within the scope of their training and expertise and act in the best interest of their patients, it also recognizes these are extraordinary times. The adoption of virtual/telemedicine care will be called for in the days and weeks ahead. A fee for this service is now in place for physicians, for details contact Doctors NS.
The College wants to ensure physicians can deliver patient care in the face of the pandemic. Central to this effort is the importance of limiting viral spread by:
- Reducing all unnecessary patient and physician travel;
- Reducing unnecessary patient visits to health facilities, and;
- Enabling physicians to provide remote patient service within Nova Scotia or from other jurisdictions.
Care for patients with
- Use virtual means to keep contact with patients who have symptoms and who you are monitoring.
- Reassess patients virtually, and if worsening arrange appropriate follow up.
Care for regular patients
by virtual means whenever possible for the following reasons:
- To avoid unnecessary trips to the office.
- To manage patients with chronic disease.
- To manage other acute illness that may not require a physical exam.
For further guidance please review Professional Standards Regarding the Provision of Telemedicine Services.
The College recognizes the growing role of telemedicine or virtual medicine in our pandemic response. As such, the College wishes physicians to be aware of the following:
- For physicians licensed in Nova Scotia, there is no requirement for College approval for this field of practice.
- Any physician licensed in Canada may deliver telemedicine services in Nova Scotia, unless specifically restricted from doing so by their licensing body;
- The regulation of the medical services you provide into Nova Scotia rests with your licensing college.
- All physicians delivering telemedicine services in Nova Scotia should refer to the College’s Professional Standards for the Provision of Telemedicine Services.