Information for patients
During this time where physical distancing is necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19, CReATe West Fertility staff will offer care virtually.
What is virtual care?
Virtual care is the use of video and audio technologies to communicate with you rather than having you come into the hospital. These technologies are provided by the province (e.g. Ontario Telehealth Network) or vendors such as Zoom, Google or Apple. Your health-care provider will tell you which virtual care technologies are available to you.
Virtual care allows you to access care from home, ensuring physical distancing and limiting the potential risk of coming into contact with COVID-19.
What are the potential risks / limitations of participating in virtual care?
- While many health concerns can be addressed with virtual care, some health concerns may still require you to attend an appointment in person. Your health-care provider will let you know if this is the case for you.
- It may seem more informal or personal to be meeting with your health-care provider virtually. Health-care providers are required to ensure that all communications during virtual care remain professional.
- We do our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual care visits is private and secure, but no video or audio tools are ever completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using video or audio communications tools.
- It is important to recognize that emails, calls, or texts you receive are not secure in the same way as a private appointment in the hospital. To help us keep your information safe and secure, you can:
- Use a private computer or device (not your employer's)
- Use secure accounts and a secure internet connection (a personal and encrypted email account is more secure)
- Use the internet on your home network, which is generally more secure than an open guest Wi-Fi connection.
What am I agreeing to?
By agreeing to participate in virtual care, you are agreeing to let your health care provider collect, use, or disclose your personal health information through video or audio communications (while following applicable privacy laws) in order to provide you with care. In particular, the following means of electronic communication may be used:
- Videoconferencing (including Zoom, OTN, Skype, Facetime, etc.)
- Text messaging (including instant messaging), or
- Website or portal
What do I do if I have more questions?
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our clinic or health-care provider.