Conducting virtual assessments requires healthcare professionals to consider new legal, procedural, and ethical factors related to service delivery.
Virtual care has led to new opportunities, including access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. For clinicians, this expansion of service delivery has been met with new clinical considerations for virtual care. As we service various populations nationwide we have to consider multi-provincial licensing, PHIPA compliant software, variables that may affect testing or create variance, barriers to technology for some client populations, limitations to virtual care, and safety concerns. On the other hand, we can reach clients near and far, invite those impacted by community mobility or anxious to leave the home to participate in care. There is also a potential for resource savings and integration of care.
While COVID-19 has been a difficult time for clients and clinicians, it has also been a time to challenge our practice models and explore the feasibility and potential benefits of virtual care. Digitalization is considered to be the new norm, and essential to future services. As we work through some of the ‘kinks’, allied health professionals are urged to make the most of digital healthcare and continue to lead innovations that benefit our clients.
Alyssa Bierbrier MA, MScOT, OT Reg. (Ont.), CCLCP