Connecting to providers
Real-Time Virtual Support (RTVS) pathways enhance health equity in rural, remote, and First Nations communities across British Columbia by connecting rural healthcare providers and patients to RTVS Virtual Physicians via Zoom or telephone.
There are two types of pathways—those for healthcare providers, and those for patients.
RTVS Pathways for Healthcare Providers
Several RTVS pathways may only be accessed by physicians, physician residents, nurse practitioners, nurses, and midwives in rural, remote, and First Nations communities in British Columbia. RTVS Virtual Physicians on these “peer-to-peer” pathways provide rural healthcare providers with free and friendly support for all urgent or non-urgent patient cases, including: Case consultations, second opinions and ongoing patient support, patient transport coordination, point-of-care ultrasound, and simulations.
Rural providers have 24/7 access to pathways for Emergency (RUDi), Critical Care (ROSe), Pediatrics (CHARLiE), and Maternity and Newborn (MaBAL). In addition, several “Quick Reply” pathways—Dermatology, Hematology, Myofascial Pain, Post-COVID-19 Recovery Clinic Referral, Rheumatology, Thrombosis—are also available weekdays during regular business hours. Learn more about Provider Pathways here.
“I can't express enough how grateful I am as a relatively new practice physician in rural BC to have RUDi, ROSe, CHARLiE and all the lines and tools that have been rolled out….Very quickly these supports have been very integrated to how I practice in the clinic and Emergency. Access to these services in the nick of time has changed outcomes.” – Rural GP (accessing provider pathways)
"The Virtual Physicians listen, they are empathetic, they value our experience and what we are seeing” – Remote Community Nurse (accessing RUDi)
RTVS Pathways for Patients
Some RTVS pathways are available for patients in rural, remote, and/or First Nations communities. The First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day and First Nations Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatric Service pathways, both offered by the First Nations Health Authority, offer care to BC First Nations people and their families (even if not Indigenous). In addition, rural, remote, and First Nations citizens may be connected to an RTVS Virtual Physician on the HEiDi (HealthLink BC Emergency iDoctor-in-assistance) pathway when they call HealthLink BC (8-1-1). Learn more about the Patient Pathways here.
"Everything was perfect right to the receptionist making the appointments to the doctor talking with me... one of the best doctor’s appointments that I have had.” – First Nations Doctor of the Day Client
Benefits of RTVS Pathways
RTVS pathways help ensure that rural healthcare providers are properly supported and rural patients receive more equitable access to healthcare. More specifically, RTVS pathways:
- Establish collegial relationships between RTVS Virtual Physicians and rural healthcare providers, which builds a stronger community of practice.
- Increase confidence, and reduce isolation, of healthcare providers who provide patient care in rural, remote, and First Nations communities in British Columbia.
- Increase mentoring and educational opportunities for rural healthcare providers—especially new-to-practice physician residents.
- Improve the recruitment and retention of rural healthcare providers.
- Increase availability and access to timely, quality healthcare services for patients in rural, remote, and First Nations communities, reducing their risk, time, and expense traveling for medical appointments.
- Offer a cost-effective and sustainable model for British Columbia’s health system needs.
Guide to Instant Access Pathways (24/7)
Add Zoom contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Critical Care (ROSe)
Add Zoom contact: email@example.com
Maternity and Newborn (MaBAL)
Add Zoom account: firstname.lastname@example.org
Add Zoom contact: email@example.com
Guide to Quick Reply Pathways (Weekdays, 9am to late afternoon)
Add Zoom contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Add Zoom contact: email@example.com
myoLIVE (Myofascial Pain)
Add Zoom contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-COVID-19 Recovery Clinic Referral
Add Zoom contact: email@example.com
Add Zoom contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Add Zoom contact: email@example.com
Please do not email the RTVS Pathway Zoom addresses, provided above. Messages sent to these addresses will not be received.
Download the poster
The Real-Time Virtual Support Poster is aimed at helping physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses in rural, remote, and First Nations communities navigate through the RTVS pathways.
It includes all the information needed to connect with Virtual Physicians when providers need their support.
Locum Assistance by Telehealth
If a locum physician cannot be recruited physically into the community, support via Telehealth is allowed if supported by the community/host physician and the Health Authority Medical Director where additional resources are sent into a community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a detailed message on at 1 (877) 357-4757 for further information on your situation. Visit https://www.locumsruralbc.ca/COVID-19-Announcements for additional information.
Real-Time Virtual Support is an initiative of the Virtual Health and Wellness Collaborative for Rural and First Nations BC. RTVS is made possible through the incredible work and collaboration of Rural Coordination Centre of BC (supported by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues), First Nations Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority, Providence Health Care, BC Emergency Medicine Network, and UBC Department of Emergency Medicine.
Please check back often to see what new tools are available or subscribe to RCCbc’s eNewsletter and click the RTVS updates box to have updates delivered to you. (Please subscribe with a personal email address as health authority servers will likely filter and/or block our newsletter).