How Does Telephone Virtual Care Work?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotia’s physicians are using “virtual care” (connecting with patients through telephone or video) more than ever before. Virtual care keeps you safe and helps you practice physical distancing. It also keeps your doctor safe so that they can keep caring for your needs during this difficult time. Virtual appointments are covered by MSI.
Below you will find some common questions and answers to help you navigate the world of virtual care.
How Do I Book An Appointment With My Doctor?
Call your doctor’s office, just as you normally would. Medical office staff will book your appointment and tell you how to prepare for the telephone call. You can also book your appointment online – please ask our staff how to sign up today.
How Will My Telephone Appointment Work?
Be prepared to have your telephone visit in a private place. Find a quiet place to talk so you can have a direct conversation with your care provider as if you were in the same room.
Prior to your appointment time, make sure your phone ring volume is on, and settings on your cell phone allow blocked calls to ring through.
Plan for your appointment like you would an in-person visit. Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, make a list of questions you want answered.
The doctor will call you around the time of your appointment (which could be up to 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after your scheduled appointment time). For example, if your appointment is scheduled for 2 p.m., the doctor could call between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Please be available at the time of your appointment. If you happen to miss the first call, the provider will attempt a second time. If the doctor cannot reach you after two attempts, they must move on in their schedule as there are many other patients scheduled for virtual visits. Please contact the office to reschedule.
Remember to write down any directions or treatment plans the doctor shares. Since you won’t be handed a physical prescription at the end of the visit, with directions on how to take any medication or with the next steps to follow in your treatment journey, you’ll need to have a pen and paper handy.
Why Do I Need To Tell The Receptionist The Reason For Booking An Appointment?
Staff will ask you the reason for your visit every time you book an appointment. This is to assist your physician in being prepared for your visit; it ensures you are being booked at a time that your concern can be adequately dealt with, and pre-appointment preparation can be in place. If you wish not to share the reason for visit, please tell staff it is personal, being aware that you will be booked as a regular 15 minute office visit.
Do I Need To Book More Than One Appointment If Multiple Family Members Need To See The Doctor?
Please book appointments for all those who need to see the doctor. Time is allotted to deal with one patient at a time. If multiple family members need to see the doctor please ensure each person is scheduled with their own appointment.
Is My Information Confidential?
Your medical information is confidential and will not be shared with others unless you have given prior written consent. Your doctor will not discuss the medical information of other family members. Please refer to the privacy section under Policies for more information.
Will You Notify Me Of Specialist/Medical Testing Appointments?
You will be notified when the referred office confirms a date for your specialist/testing appointment. You will either receive notification directly from the specialist’s office or you will receive a call from our clinic. You will be left a message to call our office in regards to a specialist appointment. We will not leave appointment details on answering machines or with family members, unless directed to do so by yourself and noted in your chart. Once you receive appointment details you will not receive further reminder calls.
I Have Multiple Medical Issues. Do I Need To Book More Than One Appointment?
In the best interest of your health and in consideration of both your doctor’s schedule and fellow patients, please book medical appointments as concerns arise. The time allotted for each visit is sufficient to adequately cover a single issue. Office staff cannot book extra time to cover multiple issues, nor can they book you two appointments in one day. If you have several issues your doctor will address that of most concern and may ask you to rebook an appointment to cover additional items, to ensure adequate care and consideration of each concern.
Will I Be Billed For Missed Or Cancelled Appointments?
Patients will be billed for missed appointments and cancellations with less than 24 hours notice.
How Will I Receive My Medical Results?
You are welcome to book an appointment with your doctor to review results of medical testing. Patients can expect a phone call if results are abnormal or require additional follow up. Patients will not be notified of normal results.
How Do I Manage My Prescription Refills?
Health insurance does not cover the cost of prescription refills if you have not seen a physician. All requests for call in or pick up prescription are subject to a $15 charge. We strongly discourage these requests. Book appointments for medication refills 2-4 weeks in advance of your prescription running out. Your doctor has written your prescription to expire at the time in which they wish to re-evaluate how the medication is working for you.
However, extenuating circumstances arise, in such instances you do have options:
- Book your refill appointment; let your pharmacist know you have an appointment booked and they may advance you enough medication to get you to your appointment date.
- Your pharmacist may provide you a 1 month refill on a one time only basis.
- If your medication IS a narcotic, you MUST see YOUR family physician due to stringent regulations. There are no other options. Be sure to book your appointment well in advance of your medication running out.