COVID-19: Virtual Care


Last update: June 11,,2020

Delivering Virtual Care During a Pandemic:


If you will be delivering virtual care, the CPSS expectations of physicians during a pandemic are:

  1. 1. That all Physicians licenced by the CPSS to provide care in Saskatchewan are permitted to deliver virtual care to patients in Saskatchewan within their scope of practice,
  2.  
  3. 2. The CPSS does not specify which method/application is used to deliver virtual care during a Pandemic,
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  5. 3. That Physicians still have to take a reasonable steps to ensure that Personal Health Information (PHI) is protected to the best of their ability,
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  7. 4. That physicians develop an internal policy regarding the method of delivery of virtual care pertaining to the protection of Personal Health Information,
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  9. 5. That physicians strive to ensure that the methods they use to deliver virtual care is consistent with HIPA to the best of their ability,
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  11. 6. That the patient be informed that the virtual method of communication may not guarantee the integrity of protecting the PHI, and that in some cases this method of care delivery may not be optimal, and that the patient is given the option to opt-out of the virtual care interaction,
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  13. 7. That complete documentation be kept of the interaction consistent with the CPSS Regulatory Bylaw 23.1
  14.  
  15. 8. That all tests ordered will be ordered, managed, and followed up by the ordering physician in accordance to the CPSS Standards for Primary Care
  1. 1) Ensure that any practice location in which they work has appropriate systems in place to review and, if appropriate, provide follow-up care in response to any investigations ordered by the physician. When possible, the results of such investigations should be reviewed by the physician who has ordered the investigations and, when not possible, investigations results will be reviewed by a qualified medical colleague;
  1.  
  2. 2) Ensure that any practice location in which they work has appropriate systems in place to review and, if appropriate, provide follow-up care in response to consultant’s reports requested by the physician. When possible, consultant’s reports should be reviewed by the physician who requested the consultation and, when not possible, such reports will be reviewed by a qualified medical colleague

The CPSS Policy on the Practice of Telemedicine establishes expectations for physicians providing care and advice through telemedicine.

To the extent reasonably possible, a physician should practise to the same standards as when there is no emergency, in keeping with the College’s CPSS Standards for Primary Care.   

CMPA advice on the delivery of virtual care during the pandemic: COVID-19 Hub for advice, support and medical-legal information.

The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) offers the following to prepare physicians for the delivery of virtual care: Virtual Care – Quick Start Guide.


Practical Guidance for Virtual Care Delivery

One of the relevant aspects of care delivery is the provision of virtual care to patients. We have received queries about the provision of virtual care and we hope that the points in the guidance document at the link below may assist with this.  This is not intended to cover all aspects, and may serve as a resource only.

Practical Guidance for Virtual Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic  (CPSS) (May 1, 2020; updated May 13, 2020)
Virtual Care Guide for Patients (CMA) (June 11, 2020)
How to set up virtual care in your practice (CMA)

Virtual Care Options to Facilitate Patient Care and Education (MoH)

Advertising Virtual Care

Advertising virtual care services during the pandemic (Apr 9, 2020)


Related Info & Resources

Prime Minister announces virtual care and mental health tools for Canadians (May 3, 2020)
CMA Statement on Virtual Care Investments // Virtual Care Recommendations report with 19 Key Recommendations (May 3, 2020)