To support the adoption of virtual visits, we partnered with OTN to develop the first draft of the attached Adopting and Integrating Virtual Visits into Care: Clinical Guidance.
This document provides guidance for health care providers, including Ontario Health Teams, who are interested in integrating virtual visits into their practices.
New policies are being developed to make it easier and more convenient for patients and caregivers to access care how and where they want it. For example, the Ministry of Health’s Patient-Facing Health Policy encourages Ontario Health Teams to offer a minimum set of functionalities for their patients to enhance how and when they receive care, including virtual visits enabled by video, electronic messaging, and audio calls.
The MOH is also modernizing virtual care compensation. Recent amendments to the Virtual Care Program (previously called the Telemedicine Program) enable billing for Direct-to-patient Video Visits, so that patients can use their own device to have a video visit from their location of choice.
This change impacts all specialists, GP focused practice designated physicians, and primary care physicians who are in a patient enrollment model and are delivering care to a rostered patient.
Over the next year, the MOH, in partnership with the Ontario Medical Association, will also be looking to enable clinicians to deliver a wider range of virtual care services, such as electronic secure messaging using a broader range of technologies.
If you’re working to implement virtual visits in your clinic, let us know what you think! We invite your thoughts and feedback on the proposed draft in the comments section below.
Virtual visits series
Over the next few months, we will be collecting stories from health care providers across Ontario to understand how implementing virtual visits has impacted their practice, their workflow, and most importantly, their patients. Once published, new posts in the series will be tagged with the virtual care tag so check back in periodically.
Check out our first post in the series, featuring Dr. Ilana Halperin, who shares her experience using video visits at her clinic.