What is virtual care?

Summer 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has made physical distancing a necessity over the past year. This need has affected all areas of our lives, including our interactions with health-care providers. An in-person visit may not be necessary for some patients while others may not be comfortable visiting the hospital despite health and safety protocols. As a result, the pandemic has accelerated the delivery of virtual care at LHSC, helping to limit visits to hospital while ensuring patients receive the care they need.

How do I know if a virtual care appointment is right for me?

You and your health-care provider will work together to decide if a virtual care appointment is appropriate for you based on your unique situation. You’ll also talk about which virtual care options may work best for you.

How can I prepare for a virtual care appointment?

Find a quiet, private, and well-lit room. Ensure that you have everything you need for your appointment, including the proper technology, your health card, a list of your medications (if applicable), a pen and paper to write down any information, and a list of any questions you want to ask. You can also choose to have a family member or caregiver present. If your appointment is happening through video conference, ensure your internet connection is stable, fast, and secure. You should also have your health-care provider’s phone number on-hand in case of any technical difficulties.

What can I expect during a virtual care appointment?

Virtual care appointments are in many ways similar to an in-person appointment. You and your health-care provider may talk about your current health status, discuss any symptoms you’re experiencing, monitor your progress according to your care plan, and address any questions you have.

Is virtual care safe and private?

Your privacy is important to us. Our video conferencing platforms are used by many hospitals across Canada. These platforms have been reviewed by our privacy and information security teams, and we take appropriate precautions to ensure your information is as safe and secure as possible. Appointments are not recorded. Only those providing care to you will be present during your appointment.

To learn more about virtual care at LHSC, please visit www.lhsc.on.ca/virtual-care.

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A health-care provider participating in a virtual care appointment