Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get technical help with my virtual appointment?
In-person help is available in the following communities:
- Bear River & Area Community Health Clinic
- 902-467-3611 or email@example.com
- Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library
- Virtual Care @ your Library
- Melissa (Virtual Care Technician)
- 902-759-5227 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check with your health care provider to determine if they offer a test call prior to your virtual appointment.
- If your virtual appointment is using Zoom, you can do a self-test prior to your appointment.
Is there a cost for virtual care?
There is no charge for virtual care services with a Nova Scotia Health or IWK Health provider.
What types of care can be done virtually?
Health care providers can virtually assess, treat, provide education, and support many health concerns. They can write certain prescriptions and order additional assessments such as blood work and image requisitions.
Not all care can be done virtually. If your health care provider reviews your symptoms and feels you need an in-person appointment or emergency care, they will let you know.
Do I have to use virtual care?
At any time, you or your health care provider can end the virtual appointment if there are concerns (e.g., privacy, not meeting intended needs) and other options can be discussed. All clinical care related questions will be answered by the health care provider during your appointment.
How does virtual care benefit me?
- Provides an opportunity to access health care services wherever you are (e.g., home, work, hospital).
- Allows for ‘Family Presence’ (and others of your choosing) to attend your virtual appointment (e.g., family doctor, family, teacher, home care staff, social worker).
- Reduces the risk of exposure to infection or other illnesses.
What are the risks of using virtual care?
It is rare that issues occur using virtual care technologies. We roll out strong privacy and cyber security measures when introducing a new technology at Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health. However, there may be exceptional situations where virtual care might increase risks. Here are some possible examples below:
- Equipment or internet connection may stop working.
- In rare instances, health and security protocols could fail, causing a breach of privacy of personal health information.
- There are potential fees if using your cellular providers “data” instead of a wireless “Wi-Fi” connection based on the contract with your cell phone company. You, as a patient, are responsible for any charges related to your internet/cellular data usage.
- Confidential conversations could be unintentionally overheard if patients chooses a non-private space.
- Someone could accidently join your virtual appointment if the web link or password was shared.
What about my privacy?
- The virtual care technology used by Nova Scotia Health and IWK are private and secure.
- Virtual appointments are not recorded. You will be asked to give informed written consent for any exception to this.
- Nova Scotia Health and IWK employees and staff take all reasonable steps to protect patient privacy and maintain confidentiality.
- Personal health information is protected under the Personal Health Information Act and in accordance with Nova Scotia Health Privacy Statement and IWK Privacy Statement. Only your health care provider will see your personal health information.
For more information regarding privacy, review the Virtual Care Patient Information Guide (English or French). If you have any additional questions about privacy, contact Privacy@nshealth.ca or Privacy@iwk.nshealth.ca or contact your health care provider.
What are the approved applications used by health care providers in Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health?
All applications listed were carefully vetted and approved by Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health and are deemed to be the most secure method to ensure patient privacy and security.
- Zoom for Healthcare
- Telehealth (Poly)
- Medeo Patient Support
- Accuro Engage Support
- Pomelo by TELUS Health
- TELUS Health EMR Virtual Visit