Virtual care

Many of our clinics have been seeing patients regularly using virtual care or telephone appointments and that will continue into the coming months. This is a safe and private way for patients to connect with health-care providers that reduces the need for travel to and within the hospital.

Unity Health has taken various precautions in order to ensure that virtual care protects patient privacy. Safety precautions include:

  • Offering telephone appointments which require minimal use of technology.
  • Reserving email for administrative tasks such as booking appointments – no personal health information is shared via email without prior consent.
  • Use of a Unity Health Zoom Healthcare account by clinicians which has additional privacy and security functions.
  • Requiring informed patient consent before conducting video appointments (Zoom or OTN).

Before having a virtual appointment, you will be asked to consent to communication through email and video visits. The following consent documents outline what you need to know about this.

Our hospitals are using the following tools to conduct video visits with patients:

  • Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)
  • Zoom

Follow these guides to set up your virtual visit: 

For OTN:

For Zoom:

  • Review the technological requirements and ensure your device (computer, iPad etc.) is on and ready to use
    • Please review the guidelines under ‘How do I prepare my device for a video appointment?’
  • Test your device before your appointment to make sure the sound and video are working
  • Find a quiet spot and/or use headphones so you and your health care provider can hear each other clearly
    • Please ensure any potential distractions, such family members, friends, roommates and television noise or music are minimized
  • Find a well-lit spot so your health care provider can see your face
    • Face a window with natural light or setup a lamp or other artificial light source in front of you
    • Try not to have the light behind you
  • Have your health card ready
  • If you’re joining a video visit, have your telephone nearby in case you or your health care provider have technical difficulties and need to switch to a telephone call
  • Have a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to take notes
  • Make a list of the following in advance:
    • Current medications
    • Medical history
    • Any current or recent symptoms
    • Upcoming medical appointments or procedures
    • Questions you would like to ask