Health Workforce Innovations in Response to the COVID Pandemic
A Long-Term Strategyfor VirtualCare
New methods of care need to be implemented during the pandemic to reduce exposure of patients and providers and maintain continuity of care even if services can't be offered in person for everyone.
herever possible and appropriate, visits should be conducted virtually. In-person care should be scheduled when:
• The type of care being delivered requires it (e.g. a physical examination is required; an immunization is required; an imaging service is being delivered)
• The individual requires it (e.g., privacy is needed for the discussion; language barriers or social determinants of health necessitate it)
• The individual does not have access to technology that permits the safe delivery virtual care (e.g., a personal device, secure internet connection) or if they have low technological literacy
• The individual requires support with activities of daily living
Maximize services that appropriately reduce in-person visits using virtual care. Virtual care is defined as “any interaction between patients and/or members of their circle of care, occurring remotely, using any forms of communication or information technologies with the aim of facilitating or maximizing the quality and effectiveness of patient care.”4 Virtual care is more than video visits and phone calls. It includes digital supports for self-care (e.g., curated apps, wearables); online education and self-management tools (e.g., recreation programs); provider-to-provider supports using asynchronous messaging, e-consultation, phone backup, and specialized platforms (e.g., for specialist to primary care provider communications); provider- to-patient supports (e.g., email, asynchronous messaging with patients over email, text, or other secure platform, real-time consultation at a distance); and remote home monitoring.
Longer term upskilling/reskilling other workers
Community Health Workers
Medical Imaging Workers
Medical Laboratory Technologists
Mental Health Workers
Nurses - Licensed Practical
Nurses - Registered
Personal Support Workers
Physicians - Emergency
Physicians - Intensive Care
Physicians - Primary/Family
Physicians - Specialists
Public Health Workers
Other Health Care Workers
Ontario Health is an agency created by the Government of Ontario with a mandate to connect and coordinate our province’s health care system in ways that have not been done before, to help ensure that Ontarians receive the best possible care.
We oversee health care delivery across the province, which includes ensuring front-line providers and other health professionals have the tools and information they need to deliver the best possible care within their communities.