West Carleton Family Health Team is following advice of the Public Health Agencies, along with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association who are recommending a reduction in in-person visits and managing patients virtually when possible. Virtual visits (telephone or video) have been recommended for certain visit types which do not require significant physical assessments. Following the virtual visit, an office assessment may be requested if deemed necessary.
You will be notified if your scheduled office visit has been transitioned to a telephone or video visit.
HOW WILL IT WORK?
If you call for an appointment our reception staff may indicate that a telephone or video visit is appropriate. If you have previously booked an office appointment you may receive a phone call to transition to a telephone or video visit.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THE VISIT?
Be available within 30 minutes of your scheduled appointment time. The phone call may arrive slightly earlier or later than the appointment time, as we are experiencing a high volume of patient calls.
Have your fullmedication list prepared.
Make a list of any required medication refills prior to the visit along with your pharmacy information.
If you take blood pressure medication, have diabetes, or heart disease, home blood pressure readings and a recent weight are required prior to the visit. We recommend the standardized home assessment be performed. For instructions, click here. Blood pressure monitors can be purchased at the pharmacy for home use. You can request a prescription for one if you need it for insurance reimbursement.
If you are treated for a mood disorder (anxiety or depression), please complete the GAD-7 and PHQ-9 mood questionnaires prior to your appointment and be ready to discuss the questions.
PHOTOS/FORMS If your phone appointment is concerning an issue that your doctor may need to see for their diagnosis or treatment (eg. a rash, redness, skin discolouration) we ask that you send us a photo to help in their assessment. Please ensure the image is clear. Images and other forms can be sent through the Patient Portal (Message Tab) attached to a new message. To login or register, click here.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Telephone Visits: No special equipment is required. You will be contacted by phone within 30 minutes of your appointment time at the number we have on file for you.
Video Visits: You will need a device that has: an internet connection, webcam, microphone and speaker. If connecting on a computer (recommended), you will join directly in your web browser without any downloads. Once the appointment has been arranged, you will receive an email invitation from "OTN No Reply" with the link to join your scheduled appointment. Please ensure you can locate the volume controls on your device prior to connecting. A connection test (found in the invitation email) is recommended prior to use. For mobile devices, you will be required to download the Pexip Infinity Connect App.
VIDEO CONFERENCING BEST PRACTICES
Be prepared with the right equipment.
Position yourself and your camera accurately. Sit looking directly into the camera and make sure your head and shoulders are framed in the shot.
Find a private place to take the call. No one should be “hiding” off camera – if someone else is in the room (e.g. spouse, caregiver) consider inviting them to sit next to you.
Have the right lighting (avoid sitting with your back to a window).
Be aware of your surroundings. You may wish to clean up the area around you.
Avoid eating and other distractions while on the call.
Check your appearance and dress how you would for an in-office visit.
Treat this as you would a regular office visit. Come prepared with any questions or concerns you have along with any information your healthcare provider has requested.
FOLLOWING THE VISIT
Any prescriptions renewals, labs, or imaging requisitions or referrals will be sent electronically by your medical provider.
We will arrange appropriate reassessment visits following the virtual visit. This may be your routine future visit, or any required additional assessment.
WHAT ABOUT MY PRIVACY?
Please review the following link regarding privacy of your information. OMA Statement on privacy with virtual care.
HOW LONG WILL THIS NEW PROCESS LAST?
The length of the infection precautions is unknown at this time. As the situation evolves we will keep you updated with any changes. For updates about WCFHT’s preparedness and response, continue to check our website.
We are encouraging patients to avoid non-urgent clinic visits and where possible communicate with us via the Patient Portal. Through the portal, you can send questions or concerns about a medication or medical issue and a doctor or nurse will typically respond within three business days. Patients can also request medication renewals, view lab results, submit blood pressure readings, view upcoming appointments and print immunization records online. Information about the Patient Portal can be found on our website. All patients of the WCFHT are encouraged to register. At the main page, select "Login" then "New User? Create Account." You will need to enter your OHIP card (health card number).