OTTAWA, August 24, 2020—The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) hosted its first “virtual” Education Session titled Virtual Care in Canada: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic today. CMPA members and stakeholders from across Canada heard from digital health professionals, medical regulators, physicians, and medical-legal experts as they explored and shared their perspectives on this rapidly evolving practice environment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed the healthcare landscape, unexpectedly driving physicians and patients to adopt virtual care,” said Dr. Lisa Calder, incoming CEO at the CMPA. “As the uptake of virtual care continues to surge, it is crucial that physicians learn how to leverage the opportunities virtual care provides and navigate the challenges to ensure a safe virtual care experience for patients.”
A distinguished panel of experts outlined and leveraged their different viewpoints to explore appropriate use of virtual care, telehealth, and digital platforms. During his keynote address, Mr. Seamus Blackmore, Atlantic Canada Health Consulting Leader at Deloitte, explored the barriers to the implementation of virtual care in Canada prior to the pandemic, and outlined how this crisis propelled virtual care forward in Canada.
“The pandemic has progressed the adoption of virtual care by a decade in six months. Barriers that have long stood in the way such as fee codes, privacy and security concerns, and technology have proven to be bubbles,” said Mr. Blackmore during his keynote. “Virtual care has become the de facto way to access healthcare and that won’t likely change in a post pandemic world. The genie is out of the bottle and has granted the wish for an easily accessible, convenient healthcare system.”
“Virtual care is here to stay, yet it will not be replacing all in person visits. As healthcare continues to evolve, training, resource allocations, technological advances and changing patient needs will influence the safe integration of telemedicine,” stated Dr. Guylaine Lefebvre, Managing Director of Safe Medical Care at the CMPA and Moderator for the session. “The CMPA will continue to guide Canadian physicians as this model of medicine expands and evolves, helping them navigate issues of consent, privacy, and standards of care so that they can continue to provide the best care possible to patients across the country.”
Featuring Dr. Heidi Oetter, Registrar and CEO, College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC; Dr. Darren Larsen, Chief Medical Officer, OntarioMD; and Mr. Daniel Boivin, CMPA General Counsel and Partner at Gowling WLG, panelists engaged the audience by providing advice and insights into various aspects of the appropriate use of virtual care, both its opportunities and potential pitfalls. The event was rounded out by an in depth Q&A session for CMPA member physicians.
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About the CMPA
The CMPA delivers efficient, high quality physician-to-physician advice and assistance in medical-legal matters, including the provision of appropriate compensation to patients injured by negligent medical care (fault in Québec). Our evidence-based products and services enhance the safety of medical care, reducing unnecessary harm and costs.
As Canada’s largest physician organization and with the support of our over 100,000 physician members, the CMPA collaborates, advocates, and effects positive change on important healthcare and medical-legal issues. The Association is governed by an elected Council of physicians.