Virtual Visits with Inpatients

At Unity Health Toronto, we recognize how important it is for our inpatients and residents to stay in touch with their family members, friends, support persons and caregivers during a hospital stay or while living in our long-term care residences.

In circumstances where friends, loved ones and essential care partners are unable to be present with inpatients or residents, Unity Health offers a free video visiting service for patients and residents who do not have their own device.

This service was initially developed in response to the government-mandated limitations placed on family presence at our sites during COVID-19. However, due to the success of this initiative, we’ve decided to continue offering video visits indefinitely for all inpatients and residents.

Who can use this service?

This service is available to all inpatients and residents at St. Joseph’s, St. Michael’s and Providence who do not have their own device.

How does it work?

  • Video visits are available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s and between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Providence.
  • Patients and residents are offered between one video visit per week and one video visit per day, depending on the number of patients/residents and demand on each unit. This gives our teams flexibility to offer the service to as many inpatients and residents as we can on a weekly basis.
  • Each video visit lasts a maximum of 30 minutes, giving staff ample time to sanitize the devices and set-up the video visit for the next inpatient or resident.
  • We encourage families and friends to join the same call whenever possible. The Zoom platform has no limitation on the number of people who can join.
  • If you or your friends, loved ones or essential care partners aren’t available during our operating hours, we can help coordinate a time that works better on a case-by-case basis.
    • Simply indicate this on the form below and someone will be in touch.

How do I schedule a video visit?

To request a video visit with an inpatient or resident, use form below.

  • Patients and residents can request a video visit by asking any member of their care team directly.
  • Loved ones and essential care partners can request a video visit by completing the short online form below.
  • Once the request has been processed and accepted, we will send you an email with instructions to join the Zoom meeting.
    • If you are not familiar with the Zoom platform, a staff member can walk you through the login procedure.
  • We require 24 hours notice before a video visit can be scheduled. In cases where a same-day video visit is required due to the patient’s condition, we will do everything possible to accommodate last-minute requests.

Visiting with residents in the Houses of Providence

Residents in the Houses of Providence, their loved ones and caregivers who want to schedule a video visit via Skype or Zoom can contact Debasish Pal, Manager, Activation and Programs, Houses of Providence, directly at

Video visits for residents in the Houses of Providence are typically offered between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Are there any restrictions?

  • Video visits can be scheduled every 24 hours. However, we will do our best to accommodate special requests on a case-by-case basis.
  • The patient must agree to the video visit request. A request may not be approved if the patient does not consent to the request.
  • If the patient isn’t capable of consenting, the care team will contact the substitute decision maker for consent.
  • In the case of a call that needs to be ended early, the staff will work with the care team, patient and family to reschedule the call for another day.

Additional guidelines

  • We protect the information you share in the request form and do not use it for any other purpose.
  • There could be instances where our teams may ask you to reschedule the visit or end the visit early. This may happen due to:
    • A need to provide timely care to the patient.
    • A need to protect the privacy of other people in the room. In rare cases, patients in the same room could be scheduled for rounds or other sessions where personal health information is discussed openly. In this case, staff may ask the caller to end a session early.

We encourage you to stay in touch with your loved ones and hope that your video visit experience will help you feel connected to those who matter to you most.

Virtual Visits

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Last updated May 12, 2021