What is virtual care?
During a virtual care visit, you do not come to the hospital to meet in person. Instead, you speak with your care team using a regular phone, smartphone, tablet or computer.
Why is KHSC offering virtual care?
Virtual care visits are not new. KHSC and health care teams across Ontario have been providing virtual care for some time. We are using virtual care more often at KHSC to reduce how many people come to the hospital. This is to protect our patients, staff and the community from the spread of COVID-19.
What happens during a virtual care visit?
Your health care team talks to you about your current health status, any symptoms you are experiencing and your needs. If your care team feels that an in-person visit is needed instead of a virtual care visit, they will discuss your options and next steps with you.
How is my virtual care booked?
Your care team may call you to discuss changing your upcoming appointment to a virtual care visit.
- They will talk to you about options for virtual care. This may include offering a phone call or a video call using secure, private, and confidential software.
- They will give you instructions on how to prepare.
- They will also ask for your verbal consent for the upcoming appointment.
- They will let you know the day and time of your virtual care visit and confirm they have your preferred contact information.
The decision on which type of virtual care visit you have will be made based on your care needs and the technology you and the clinic have access to
How can I tell what appointments are virtual care?
Your appointment slip will list if your appointment will be in-person, or over telephone or Internet.
What can I expect during my virtual care visit?
- Your care team will call you at the scheduled time;
- A call from a KHSC number may appear as Unknown Caller or No Caller ID. Please answer if you are expecting a call from your care team to be sure that they can get in touch with you
- You and your care team talk about how you're feeling, your questions, and next steps in your care plan; and,
- Family members may participate in the call.
Video (video conference) visit
- You will receive an email with a link to use and instructions on how to connect with your care team at the scheduled time.
- You and your care team will talk about how you're feeling, your questions, and the next steps in your care plan.
- KHSC uses secure video conferencing tools
- Personal health information discussed during your phone or video conferencing visit is not stored or kept by the software or service in any way
- If you or your provider have any trouble with the video or audio on your devices, your care team will call you on the phone to complete your appointment.
Types of video visit platforms used by KHSC
Reacts is one of the tools that KHSC uses for virtual care visits. You will receive an email with the appointment link and information to join your Reacts virtual care visit.
Click here to view the Reacts Patient Onboarding package to help you prepare for your visit and how to join your appointment when the time comes. (For Mac users, please click here to view How to use Reacts on Macs.)
The following video shows how to join the Virtual Care Visit (on Reacts):
Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN)
- Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) is one of the tools that KHSC uses for virtual care visits. OTN is secure and private (encrypted).
- If you agree to participate in a virtual care visit, KHSC will need to provide OTN with your name and email address. Your care team will schedule your virtual care visit with OTN.
- You get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org Do not reply to the email or send the video conference link or appointment email to anyone.
- This email contains your care provider’s name and the date and time of your virtual care visit.
- It will also have a link to access your appointment and instructions on using OTN. Please call your care provider’s office if you have any questions regarding your OTN appointment or if you do not receive this email from OTN.
Learn more about OTN and how to prepare for your OTN visit: click here.
If you need help setting up your Reacts account, please contact the KHSC secretary who booked the appointment. The secretary will have given you their telephone number in the first email you received.
Disclaimer: In Reacts there is a text messaging function. DO NOT USE IT. Text messaging in Reacts is not monitored and messages are not read or responded to. If you are having an emergency you must go to the emergency department at KHSC or call 911; otherwise call the phone number provided by the secretary.
For the best technical support, patients should only access their Reacts account through the website or mobile app.
If you require assistance using OTN for Clinical eVisits, please contact email@example.com
Email consent and safety
KHSC may also send you appointment information and other general information by email or text, if you have consented to receive information in this way.
Please do not send emails for urgent symptoms, questions or in an emergency. If you have an urgent medical issue, please call 911 or visit an Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre.
Some care areas may send you a follow-up survey after your appointment by email or text. This is to help us to improve the quality of care we deliver. They should let you know about this during your appointment, so check with them that they have your preferred contact details.
Electronic communication, including virtual care visits and email, may have some risk. Third parties may take over electronic communication and introduce malware, phishing scams, or other unauthorized access.
KHSC is not responsible for the security of patients’ internet service providers, email domains, personal devices or personal computers.
We suggest that you use your personal email when communicating about your health and not a work email address, as your employer may have the right to inspect your work email.
Use a secure internet connection. Do not use a public internet connection such as at the airport internet café, public library or other open area. Other people may be able to use the link to listen in on your appointment without you knowing.
Protecting your privacy
Your privacy is very important to us at KHSC. We protect your privacy during virtual care visits in the same way as we do during a clinic visit.
- Only the people providing care to you will be present during your appointment.
- Our discussion during the visit in your health record, just like an in-person appointment would be.
We suggest that you take similar steps to protect your own privacy. This means being aware of your surroundings and who may be able to overhear your virtual visit.
Can I decline a virtual care visit or change my mind?
You can decline or withdraw your consent for virtual care visits or communication using email or text, at any time by contacting your care provider. Please know that this may lead to delays in your care during this challenging time, as only urgent in-person appointments are being offered in our clinics right now
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most common questions about Reacts and Virtual Care Visits at KHSC: