Doctor is In – Expanding in-person care during COVID-19

The Doctor Is In

For many months during the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians in BC and elsewhere been relying largely on virtual care (telephone and video conference) to care for their patients. As pandemic restrictions are lifting, many are in the process of increasing in-person care in their offices and clinics. 

The Doctor is In guide, summarized on this web page to highlight key areas, was created by physicians for physicians to support the implementation of safety guidelines throughout this process. It will be updated as new information becomes available. For the detailed guide and information on the contributors, check out the PDF document here

The Doctor Is In is intended to align with the official guidelines sent to BC physicians by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) and WorkSafe BC. It remains the physician’s responsibility to ensure that you meet all legal, regulatory, professional and ethical obligations.

Safety Plan Template

Developing your own COVID-19 Safety Plan

The Safety Plan template provides an extensive checklist of action items to support the development of an individualized plan for your office, including risk assessment, implementing protocols and developing policies. The checklist is based on all of the information provided below.

Section Links

Things to think about before you start planning
Many practices will become hybrid models providing both virtual and in-person care. Visualize them on a spectrum – virtual care on one end, and in-person care on the other.

Stay healthy – mentally and physically
Throughout this process, it is important that we remember to prioritize our own self-care and the health and well-being of our staff.

Guidance on expanding in-office care
As you begin to plan for physical and administrative changes, consider some key principles to guide you and to help decide where to start.

Preparing your physical office before in-person visits begin
Tips to make your office safe for in-person visits, including re-arranging exam and waiting rooms, ensuring cleanliness and posting useful information for your patients.

Scheduling and managing patient appointments
Tips to ensure safety before, during and after patient appointments, including suggestions for patient flow.

Identifying virtual vs in-person services
A list of activities that will help you to decide which can be offered in-person at this time, and which should continue to be delivered by virtual care.

Communicating with Patients
Communicating with patients is critical to success before and during the process of expanding in-person visits to keep them informed and safe.

Guidance specific to Family Doctors
The Practice Support Program provides individual and group coaching to family physicians to help in developing safety plans. Understanding your patient panel can also help you manage the chronic and preventative care needs of patients.   

Looking to the future
Let’s work together to take the lessons of COVID-19 to build a “new normal” that will provide better, more timely and effective health care for everyone.

A series of reference documents providing additional information and perspective.

We want to hear from you. Do you have comments, questions or suggested updates to the Doctor is In? E-mail us at