Feedback deadline was: May 24, 2021
Virtual care in pharmacies is an emerging area of practice that is being facilitated by advancement in technology. As an emerging practice area, and in line with the College’s Policy Review Process, a new Virtual Care policy has been drafted that outlines the practice expectations for registrants providing care to patients using virtual approaches. A comprehensive review of pharmacy regulatory authorities across Canada and of health professional regulators in Ontario, alongside a review of privacy legislation and guidance from external organizations, has informed the development of this new policy.
The Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) is currently seeking feedback on the draft Virtual Care policy. The College is inviting all pharmacy professionals, pharmacy stakeholders, and members of the public to comment. Following the consultation, the final draft Virtual Care policy will be brought forward for approval by the Board in June 2021.
The Virtual Care policy reflects the profession’s commitment to patient care and recognizes that virtual care in pharmacy practice pertains to interactions outside of common and accepted practice models that use telephone-based communication.
Providing care to patients virtually requires that healthcare professionals consider certain factors such as maintaining a patient’s right to privacy, the appropriateness of using a virtual approach to care, and ensuring the same quality as in-person care is provided. The policy outlines these expectations and rests on the principle that the benefit of providing care virtually must outweigh any risks to the patient.
Questions to Guide your Feedback
- The purpose of drafting this policy is to provide pharmacy professionals with direction on the College’s practice expectations when providing virtual care. Does the draft policy achieve this purpose?
- Is the draft policy clear? For pharmacy professionals, is it comprehensive enough to support your practice? In what ways might the clarity and/or comprehensiveness of this policy be improved?