Virtual Visit Solution Guidance

Virtual care technologies are improving clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and convenience.

As part of provincial pandemic readiness for COVID-19, the Ministry has introduced temporary OHIP billing changes for video visits (see OHIP Bulletin #4745).

OTN recommends that physicians use video solutions that can demonstrate they are PHIPA compliant and designed for clinical use.

To keep updated on key notices on virtual care, please monitor our Newsroom.

Virtual Visit Solution Guidance

This technical guidance has been developed to help physicians select a solution that is PHIPA compliant and appropriate for clinical use. This guidance is informed by several provincial pilot initiatives, including the eVisit Primary Care and Partner Video pilots, and extensive consultations with health care organizations, clinicians and virtual care solution vendors.

Physicians who use enterprise video solutions should ensure they have been properly configured for clinical use with patients and are PHIPA compliant. Physicians should also be aware that there are risks associated with using free video solutions that are designed for personal use.

Video Visit Solution Requirements Checklist

Developed by OTN under MOH direction, the following are summary requirements for video visit solutions (see Ministry INFObulletin #4746). Physicians are encouraged to ask video solution vendors to demonstrate that they meet these requirements.

Clinical

Video solutions should enable:

  • Patient onboarding (e.g. registration, consent)
  • Scheduled and unscheduled video visits with patients and caregivers
  • Clinical users to manage the video visit (e.g. participant access)
  • Clinical users to share files and documents as needed
  • Transfer of virtual visit information to a medical or hospital record for clinical documentation or audit purposes (e.g. includes any files, images, messages or clinical notes exchanged during visit)
Image Quality

Video solutions should meet the minimum image quality requirements:

  • At a minimum, video solutions should support:
    • Minimum Resolution: 448p
    • Minimum Framerate: 15fps
  • High resolultion and high framerate content sharing is recommended:
    • Minimum Content Resolution: 1024x768
    • Minimum Content Framerate: 5 fps
Privacy and Security

Video solutions should:

  • Enable secure access by patients through a registration process (e.g. login with password)
  • Prevent unauthorized entry to an ongoing virtual visit event
  • Support industry standard encryption for real-time communications (e.g. H323: (H.235 for H.323 media encryption, AES) • SIP: (DTLS SRTP, TLS 1.2 or higher) • WebRTC: (DTLS SRTP)
  • Provide an audit trail of all virtual visit encounters
  • Vendor has an up-to-date Privacy Impact Assessment / Threat Risk Assessment
  • All personal health information held by systems located in Canada
Technical Support

Video solution providers should:

  • Provide reasonable technical support to clinical users and patients
  • Contact information for technical support should be easily accessible by patients

Virtual Visit Solutions

OTN conducted a competitive procurement process (resulting in a provincial vendor of record arrangement) and verified that the following solutions meet minimum clinical, privacy and security requirements for virtual visits.

Novari Health

Think Research

Primary care physicians who deliver care to rostered patients and are interested in leveraging this vendor of record, please send an email.

Additional Resources

Please see the Ontario Virtual Care Program billing manual and recent INFOBulletins for up-to-date information about virtual care services which are eligible for reimbursement and any associated technical requirements.

For additional guidance:
Adopting and Integrating Virtual Visits into Care: Draft Clinical Guidance