NWT Virtual Care

Frequently Asked Questions

What is NWT Virtual Care?

Virtual Care allows you to have a care appointment virtually. This means that you can talk with your care provider over the phone or video and do not have to go to the health centre or clinic to see them. Virtual care protects patients and care providers against COVID-19 because it limits the amount of in-person time spent together.

NWT Virtual Care is a joint initiative of the NTHSSA, TCSA and HRHSSA.

 

Who can access Virtual Care?

Virtual Care NWT is for all residents of the NWT.

Some appointments can take place virtually, and some cannot. If you need an appointment, call your local health centre or clinic like you normally would to book an appointment. The staff will let you know if your appointment can take place virtually (by phone or video) or if it needs to be an in-person appointment.

Remember that to have a video appointment, you will need to have a stable internet connection and either a smartphone, tablet or computer that has a camera and microphone.

 

How do I book a Virtual Care appointment?

To book a virtual care visit, call your local health centre or clinic like you normally would to book an appointment.  The staff will let you know if your appointment can take place virtually (by phone or video) or if it needs to be an in-person appointment.

If a virtual appointment will work, they will talk with you about the options that are available for virtual care.  This can either be through a telephone call, or through a video call using systems like Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp.

 

What does a Virtual Care appointment look like?

During a virtual care visit, you will have an appointment with your care provider like you normally would, but instead of in person it will take place over the telephone or through a video call using Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp.  Your care provider may discuss your current health status, ask you question regarding your condition, or other things depending on what your appointment is about. If your care provider feels that in in-person visit is need, they will discuss your options and next steps.

In some communities where a provider usually visits for travel clinics, your virtual care appointment could also mean that you will still visit your local health centre, but you will see and talk to your provider through a screen for some parts of your appointment.

 

Do I need internet access to use virtual care?

For phone calls, you do not need internet access.

For video calls, you will need to have a stable internet connection.

 

What devices can I use for my Virtual Care Appointment?

For a phone call appointment, all you need is a telephone.  You can use either a landline or cell phone.

For video calls, you will need to have a stable internet connection and either a smartphone, tablet or computer that has a camera and microphone.  On your device, you will also need to download one of the video apps that are being used for Virtual Care.  These include FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, and Zoom, and you can choose whichever one you prefer.

 

What is an app and how do I download and use one?

Click here for information about Apps, how to install them, and how to use them.

 

What happens if I have technology issues during my virtual care appointment?

If you are in the middle of a phone appointment and call is accidentally dropped, please wait and your care provider will call you back.

If you are in the middle of a video appointment and it is interrupted by audio or video issues, we recommend switching to a phone call.

 

Is virtual care provided in Indigenous languages?

If your health centre or clinic normally provides services in you Indigenous language, you will continue to receive these services in your language.

If translation services are not normally offered in your health centre or clinic and you require an interpreter, please call your health centre or clinic.

 

Is Virtual Care safe and Private?

Your privacy is very important to us. We do our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual care visits is private and secure. There is an increased security risk that your health information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using audio or video communications tools. Before you participate in an audio or video communication with a care provider, you will be asked to provide your express consent to the collection and use of your personal information in this manner.

We will ask for informed consent at the beginning of each phone call or video appointments so that you are aware of the risks.

 

What can I do to protect my Privacy during a Virtual Care appointment?

To help us keep your information safe, we request that you do the following:

  • Use your personal computer or device, not a public one.
  • Use a secure internet connection at home. Do not use an internet connection in a public area, such as an airport, store, restaurant or library.
  • Choose a quiet, private place for your appointment where you can speak freely and are not concerned that someone else is in the room that could overhear.  If you do not have a private space, let your provider know at the beginning of the call, and try using headphones.