ALERT CONTENT PLACEHOLDER


The following resources are intended to ensure that Care Teams are safely collecting and documenting informed consent for the use of virtual care and email communications. Resources include information related to privacy protection for both patients and care teams.

Script: Consent for Virtual Care Visit and Email

Hello, this is [name] calling from the [name of clinic or Dr's office] at the University Health Network (UHN). May I speak with [patient name]? We are calling to discuss changes to the way your care may be delivered at UHN.

Confirm identity:

To protect your privacy, we need to make sure that we are speaking to the right person. Could you please tell me your name, date of birth? (Note: If further information is needed to confirm patient's identity ask for OHIP # or name of primary care doctor, or date of last visit to the hospital or clinic).

Introduce Virtual Care and Email:

Your care team at UHN offers virtual visits and opportunities to communicate with UHN physicians and staff by email.

Would you like to learn more about virtual visits and email? (Note: Staff member could then decide whether to proceed based on patient's response or other circumstances such as language barrier, etc.)

Consent for Virtual Care:

During a virtual visit you do not come to the hospital to meet in person. This means that your care team will contact you using the telephone or through video, using software on a computer, smart phone or tablet.

Before you decide whether you wish to participate in virtual visits, we want to give you some important information.

  1. Virtual visits at UHN will occur using secure videoconferencing tools.
  2. You will receive an email and/or SMS (text message) from your care team that contains information about your appointment (for example, your care provider's name and the date and time of your virtual visit). The email and/or SMS (text message) will also contain a link, and instructions on connecting to your appointment. Please call our office if you have any questions regarding your virtual visit or if you do not receive instructions by email and/or SMS (text message).
  3. If there are technical difficulties during the virtual visit, you may be called on the telephone instead. You will need to provide a preferred telephone number.
  4. If during your virtual visit, your care provider feels that an in-person visit is required they will speak with you about options to get the care you need.

If you use myUHN Patient Portal, you may see a telephone or video visit has been scheduled. If you don't use myUHN Patient Portal and would like to register to see any changes to your appointments and access your results online, I can give you a registration code or you can contact 416 340 3777 or myuhn@uhn.ca.

All electronic communication including virtual visits, email and communication through SMS (text message) carry some risk. For information about virtual care and how to protect your privacy during virtual visits and when using the internet and email please visit our website at www.uhn.ca and go to our COVID-19 page. (Here are the PDF links in case the patient would like to receive it by email: Virtual Visits at UHN  and Using Email to Communicate With Your UHN Health Care Team ).

For Patients who do not have consent for email documented in EPR:


Please obtain consent to use email by reading the following script. If patient consents to communicate with UHN via email please document the consent in the Consent for email field on the EPR registration page.

Script: Consent for Email:

Before you decide whether you wish to communicate with us by email (or SMS (text messages), we want to give you some important information.

  1. UHN will only email you with your permission. If you do not choose to communicate with us by email, we will not email you. Please note that physicians and clinics may have their own guidelines as to when they will communicate with patients using email.
  2. UHN will only email you for purposes relating to your health care – for instance, sending you test results, medical advice, appointment confirmations, or patient surveys to help us improve the quality of care we deliver.
  3. The emails we send you may contain personal health information – for instance, information about your diagnosis, treatment, or medications.
  4. Email is never perfectly secure. The use of email always carries some risk.
  5. Email or text communication should never be used in urgent or emergency situations – if you are experiencing an emergency, please go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Consent to be Contacted about Research:

If you wish, UHN may also contact you via email to provide you with information about research studies for which you may be eligible.

You may withdraw your consent for virtual visits and/or email at any time by calling our office.

Do you have any questions?

The choice is up to you.

  • Are you comfortable consenting to virtual care (e.g., appointments by telephone, videoconferencing)?
  • Would you like to communicate with UHN's physicians and staff by email?
  • Would you like to receive emails from UHN about research studies for which you may be eligible?
ConfirmAnswer
Telephone visits  Yes    No
Video visits and use of email  Yes    No
Use of email  Yes    No
Use of email for contact about research  Yes    No
Use of text messages (if applicable)  Yes    No
myUHN registration code given  Yes    No

(Note: Schedule/Confirm next appointment, if applicable)

Privacy Protection and Consent Documentation

  • Confirm identity. Ask for patient's name, date of birth and OHIP #. (Note: If OHIP number is not readily available or patient is not comfortable to provide, instead ask the patient for name of primary care doctor, date of last visit to the hospital or clinic).
  • Be aware of your location and surroundings when providing virtual care. Ensure that only staff necessary to support the call are present. Alternatively, identify anyone else who is present and explain why.
  • Advise the patient that personal health information will be discussed. Recommend the patient be in a quiet place for the visit.
  • Advise the patient that the visit will not be recorded and ask that they also not record the visit.
  • Ask the patient if they are comfortable having this virtual visit.
  • For further tips please see Privacy and Working Remotely(Intranet > COVID-19 Updates > Remote Access & Care).

Virtual Care Consent Documentation Requirements

Consent for virtual care must be obtained and documented in Epic before a patient participates in virtual care. Consent should be collected and stored using the Virtual Care Consent document type from the Document List in the patient’s chart.

Consent is valid for one year; a patient will not be required to complete the Virtual Care Consent document again until the one year expiry has been exceeded.

For patients with an email address on file:

  • The Virtual Care Consent document will automatically be sent to patients with an email address on file via eCheck In the first time they participate in a virtual care appointment

For patients without an email address on file or if the Virtual Care Consent document is not completed at the time of the appointment:

  • Informed consent should be collected verbally and updated manually in the patient chart (see detailed instructions below in Updating Virtual Care Consent in Epic)

If the patient refuses a virtual care appointment:

  • Document the refusal in the patient’s chart (see detailed instructions below in Updating Virtual Care Consent in Epic) and that a telephone visit, in-person visit or delayed appointment was offered (as appropriate)

Updating Virtual Care Consent in Epic

1. Navigate to the Document List

Care Providers:

a. You can access the Document List by selecting Jump to Document List from your Schedule in the Virtual Care Patient Status Preview

screenshot document list

Admin / Clerical Staff:

  • You can access the Document List from Registration or Check-In
screenshot registration
screenshot check-in

Update the Virtual Care Consent document

a. Select the from the Virtual Care Consent document row

  • If Virtual Care Consent is not on the list, add the document by selecting + (plus icon)

b. Complete the fields on the Document Information pop-up:

For verbally obtained consent

  • Status: Select Received
  • Description: You may include a free text note (optional)
  • Received By: Select your name
  • Received On: Select the date and time that verbal consent was obtained

For refusal to virtual care

  • Status: Select Patient Refused
  • Description: You may include a free text note (optional)
  • Received By: Select your name
  • Received On: Select the date and time that virtual care was refused

c. Select Accept

screenshot virtual care consent

Using Email to Communicate with Your UHN Health Care Team

Providers can download this useful resource for patients related to Using Email to Communicate with Your UHN Health Care Team below.