Joint Collaborative Committees release guidance on virtual care

September 22, 2021

Following a year-long consultation, the Joint Collaborative Committees (JCCs) – partnership of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health - has produced a set of statements that provide guidance for doctors on the use of virtual care for practices and in service delivery and decision-making.  

The integration council made up of JCC co-chairs focussed on creating an integrated approach to supporting the best use of virtual care, including:

  • Balancing virtual and in person care to meet patient needs.
  • Supporting use of technology and capacity for information sharing.
  • Ensuring patients continued access to comprehensive, longitudinal relationship based care.
  • Leveraging virtual care to further support integration of family and specialist physicians along with broader team based care.

As system-level efforts continue, the JCCs continue to work with partners and stakeholders to ensure alignment of provincial digital health strategies.

What doctors are saying about virtual care

During the pandemic, doctors needed to change the way they practice to ensure that patients would continue to have access to primary and specialty care.Doctors embraced information and communication technologies to provide care virtually.

It is important that doctors and patients work together to balance virtual and in-person patient visits to ensure quality, safe, comprehensive longitudinal, relationship-based primary and specialty care.

  • “Of course, in-person appointments will continue to be vital, particularly for preventative care. We also know patients benefit from having a doctor who knows their history, so continuing to offer virtual care to my patients will make it easier for them to see doctors from their own patient medical home even when they can’t make it into the office.” –Dr John Yap, New Westminster, who says virtual care is here to stay.

Read more about how doctors are shaping the future of virtual care in BC in the BC Medical Journal.

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