Virtual Care During COVID-19
Your health-care needs continue to be important during COVID-19. Your doctor or nurse practitioner may now be offering health care by phone or video. Many mental health and addiction care providers are also providing care virtually. Virtual care allows you and your health-care provider to practice physical distancing during the pandemic.
Virtual health care is not for everyone or all types of care
Phone or video care is not appropriate for all medical needs. If you need to see your health-care provider, please call and make an appointment as you normally would. If virtual care is an option, your health-care provider will ask if you are interested in a phone or video appointment. If you are not interested, let your health-care provider know. Other arrangements will be made.
It is your choice.
What do I need for a video appointment?
To participate in a video appointment, you will need:
- an email address,
- computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with a webcam and microphone, and
- Internet browser with High-speed Internet or 4G LTE connection.
NOTE: If you do not have access to wi-fi, you will be responsible for any charges related to data usage. Video streams can require significant data.
Is Zoom safe to use? Will my private information be protected?
Protecting patients’ information was a top priority when selecting the best solution to providing video care.
Zoom for Healthcare is different than the Zoom that you may be using at home. It has many built-in features designed to increase security.
Each appointment will have a unique link and password. It will be sent only to the patient. All patients must first enter a virtual waiting room; only the expected patient will be invited into the appointment.
Zoom and PEI’s health technology team is continually monitoring the tool for risks and improved security.
There are a few things you as a patient can do to support a secure appointment:
- Do not share your medical appointment invitation with anyone.
- Make sure you have completed all updates on the device you are using.
- Find a private place to have for your appointment.
- Use an email address not shared with others.
Of course, with technology comes risks. In rare instances, health and security protocols could fail, and a breach of privacy of personal health information could happen. While no personal health information is stored in Zoom, examples of privacy breaches could include:
- Confidential conversations overheard unintentionally.
- The wrong attendee person joins your virtual visit.