GUIDELINE – Physician Use of Electronic Communications
Council conducted a sunset review of this guideline. This involved the appointment of a committee to review the document in detail, and the subsequent review of feedback provided by stakeholders including individual physicians. The amendments were fairly extensive, including a new title, the addition of a ‘purpose and scope’ section, and the inclusion of guiding principles that outline physicians’ legal, professional and ethical obligations when using electronic communication tools to communicate with patients or with other healthcare providers in relation to patient care and management. Particular focus is applied to confidentiality and privacy concerns including the expectations in The Health Information Protection Act.
In addition to the overarching ‘guiding principles’, the amended document includes general guidelines applicable to the use of telephone, fax, email, text and picture messaging, online video consultation and social media. There is an extensive list of resources that can be accessed by physicians who are interested in learning more about these issues.
The guideline was approved with a sunset date of November 2022 to align with the sunset date for the policy The Practice of Telemedicine. Additional information is included in the article here.
POLICY - Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
Patient's Death is NOT Reasonably Foreseeable
Patient's Death is Reasonably Foreseeable
These policies had reached their sunset date. Given the recent amendments to both policies (as summarized in the previous issue of DocTalk ), they were re-approved with a sunset date of March 2023 when it is anticipated there will be new criteria and expanded eligibility for MAiD.