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 / Physicians

Virtual Clinic

The Northern Health Virtual Primary and Community Care Clinic provides services by phone or through a video call. The COVID-19 Online Clinic name has changed, and is now the Northern Health Virtual Primary and Community Care Clinic. The phone number remains the same. The Virtual Clinic continues to provide COVID-19 assessments for those experiencing symptoms. The Virtual Clinic provides a supplemental layer of service to Northern Health's family physicians, who remain the cornerstone of our regional health care system.

Patients can call the Virtual Clinic to access a family doctor or nurse practitioner:

  • Phone: 1-844-645-7811
  • 10 am to 10 pm daily (including weekends and statutory holidays)

Purpose

  • The goal of the clinic is to provide culturally-safe primary and community care services for unattached patients, or where access to primary care is limited.
  • The Northern Health Clinic will help support rural health care providers with access to broader health care resources, including support in day-to-day patient care as well as access to specialists for consultation when needed.
  • The clinic will continue to provide screening, assessment, and coordination of testing for COVID-19.
  • The Northern Health Virtual Clinic is one part of the overarching Northern Health enhanced access to primary and specialist care strategy.

Virtual Clinic services

This phone line is for after-hours care when health centres or primary care homes are closed, or for patients who don’t have a primary care provider or who cannot travel due to seasonal weather or other barriers. Patients are encouraged to call their family doctor or nurse practitioner first to see when they can get an appointment.

Patients should call the phone line if they or a family member are experiencing:

  • Asthma
  • Ear aches
  • Eye irritation/injuries
  • Feelings of anxiety, sadness, or depression
  • Headache
  • Mild back pain
  • Mild breathing difficulties
  • Mild shortness of breath
  • Minor burns
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Sore throat or cough
  • Sprains caused by minor accidents and falls
  • Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
  • Worsening cough
  • A need for support around substance use treatment such as Opioid Agonist Therapy, or safer pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs.

Job opportunity

Interested medical staff from across Northern Health will have an opportunity to work at the clinic.

I’m interested in working here, who do I contact?

For physicians who are interested in working at the Northern Health Virtual Clinic, please review the physician Expression of Interest. For nurse practitioners who are interested in working at the clinic, review the nurse practitioner Expression of Interest.

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What is the payment model?

For physicians, there will be a blended funding model (fee-for-service and standard hourly rates). Nurse practitioners will be paid salary.

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Training and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

Patient charting will be done in an electronic medical record and training will be provided.

What EMR will be used?

The Virtual Clinic uses CMOIS for all patient records.

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Will we receive any training for the EMR and virtual platform?

Yes, training and orientation will be provided before your first shift.

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Will we receive cultural safety training?

Yes, we are working with the Northern Health Indigenous Health department to develop training for our providers and staff.

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What virtual platform will be used?

The clinic uses the Solo Product by InTouch video platform.

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Follow-up

A continued part of the service will be information-sharing with the patient’s primary care provider and other members of the patient’s primary care interprofessional team. This includes working with the person's primary care provider to arrange for in-person follow-up as required, or working to attach patients to primary care providers in their community.

What if the patient needs a follow-up appointment?

A continued part of the service will be information-sharing with the patient's primary care provider and other members of the patient's primary care interprofessional team. This includes working with the person's primary care provider to arrange for in-person follow-up as required, or working to attach patients to primary care providers in their community.

If the patient doesn’t have a primary care provider, or needs connecting to other supports, the Virtual Clinic team will follow-up with them.

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If my patient calls the Virtual Clinic, how will I be notified?

A copy of the encounter notes from the provider or clinician at the Virtual Clinic will be sent to your clinic via fax or electronic medical record. Information-sharing back to the patient’s primary care provider and other members of the primary care interprofessional team will continue to be a regular part of service provision. However, it is the patient's choice whether the information from their visit will be shared with their family doctor or nurse practitioner.

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Supports available

This service will build on an understanding of the needs and wants of the people and families we serve and an understanding of the existing assets and capabilities that already work well for communities, people, and providers. Community-specific resource lists will further support local care coordination.

What kind of ITS support is available for patients and providers?

If a provider has a technical issue, they’ll reach out to the clinic coordinator for support. If a patient has a technical issue, they’ll be supported prior to their appointment with the provider.

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What other provincial services are available?

Northern RACE (Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise)

  • Available 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.
  • Phone: 1-855-605-7223 (Toll-free)
  • Northern Health advice line that supports primary care providers in Northern BC. Northern specialist physicians provide telephone support for non-emergent, patient-related questions.

First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day

  • FNHA service, available 7 days per week, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Phone: 1-855-344-3800 to book a Zoom appointment, or email virtualdoctor@rccbc.ca.
  • Doctors provide regionally based, virtual primary health care support and delivery to First Nations people and their families living in BC. They also support community-based nurses and other health professionals to deliver primary care.

Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) pathways

  • Available 24/7 by Zoom and/or phone, depending on the service.
    • Different pathways give access to just-in-time advice and culturally-safe, compassionate support.
    • Specialist colleagues can support you with any issue, any time.
    • Pathways include RUDi, ROSe, CHARLiE, MaBAL, and UBC Dermatology Rural and Remote Service (details below).
    • Offered through the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCBC).
    • More information and a full comprehensive toolkit are available.
  • Note: To access pathways available only by Zoom, you’ll need a “Zoom for Healthcare” account. Get one here!

RUDi (Rural Urgent Doctor in-aid) – Emergency

  • Available 24/7 by Zoom.
  • Zoom: rudi1@rccbc.ca
  • Physicians with emergency medicine and rural experience help rural health care providers looking for support with a patient or preparatory simulation, including:
    • Providing a second opinion about a patient
    • Reviewing a case
    • Running through simulation scenarios
    • Helping to navigate the health care system
    • Providing collaborative support in critical times
    • Other situations as needed by rural providers

ROSe (Rural Outreach Support) – Critical Care

  • Available 24/7 by Zoom or phone.
  • Intensivist/critical care specialists available to support rural health care providers looking for a consultation, second opinion, or ongoing virtual support for patients.
  • ROSe physicians have expertise in complex, acutely ill patients, and those who are deteriorating. However, they are open to support rural care providers for any patient they’re concerned about.

CHARLiE (Child Health Advice in Real Time Electronically)

  • Available 24/7 via Zoom.
  • Zoom: charlie1@rccbc.ca
  • Pediatricians, pediatric emergency physicians, and pediatric intensivists can provide urgent specialized pediatric support to rural health care providers presented with urgent problems in children and youth.
  • Support includes providing a second opinion, reviewing a case, helping to navigate the health care system, and providing collaborative support.

MaBAL (Maternity and Babies Advice Line)

  • Available 24/7 by Zoom.
  • Zoom: mabal1@rccbc.ca
  • Family physicians with expertise in maternal and newborn care and an understanding of rural and cultural contexts can provide guidance on urgent and non-urgent pre-conception, prenatal, antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum presentations, for both moms and newborns.
  • They can also provide assistance in assessment and problem-solving and can rapidly facilitate access to specialist expertise from regional care centre obstetricians or provincial pediatricians.

UBC Dermatology Rural and Remote Service

  • Available by phone Monday to Friday (except holidays), 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Phone: 1-778-771-DERM (3376)
  • Dermatologist residents can help reach a working diagnosis and plan. The plan is reviewed with dermatology staff and the referring practitioner.

Overview

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Clinic oversight

What is the Clinic’s oversight?

A Medical Lead and Team Lead provide clinical oversight and support. Clinic Coordinators support the day to day operations of the Virtual Clinic.

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What if my patient didn’t receive appropriate care?

Contact Dori Pears, Virtual Clinic Manager, at dori.pears@northernhealth.ca or 778-349-4778.

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Compliment or complaint?

If you have a complaint or compliment about the NH Virtual Clinic, please contact NorthernHealthVirtualClinic@northernhealth.ca. If the complaint is not resolved, contact the Patient Care Quality Office at patientcarequalityoffice@northernhealth.ca or 1-877-677-7715.

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