Frequently asked questions about Real-Time Virtual Support
Who can call RTVS?
Any member of the healthcare team in rural or remote communities in BC can call the Instant Access or Quick Reply Pathways for Providers. Patients should not call the Pathways for Providers.
There are two main RTVS pathways for patients. If you are Indigenous or your family is Indigenous you can call the First Nations Doctor of the Day service. Non-Indigenous people can call 8-1-1 at any time to speak to a nurse and, depending on the circumstances, they may be transferred to a virtual physician who may be able to do a Zoom consultation.
I am a health care provider in a rural, remote or Indigenous community. What can I call an RTVS virtual physician about?
Any patient issue that you need support with, or any patient whom you’re concerned about. Think of RTVS as “calling a friend.” RTVS specialists can:
- provide a second opinion about a patient;
- review a case;
- help navigate the healthcare system;
- provide collaborative support in critical times; and
- provide ongoing virtual support for all patients, including complex, acutely ill, deteriorating, and stable patients.
I am a health care provider in a rural, remote or Indigenous community. When can I call an RTVS specialist?
All Instant Access Pathways are available any time, 24/7. The Quick Reply Pathways, which include, dermatology, hematology, thrombosis, rheumatology, and Post COVID-19 Recovery Clinic referral are available Mondays to Fridays (except holidays) from 9 am to late afternoon. The myofascial pain pathway is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What protections does RCCbc have in place for providers using Zoom?
RCCbc Zoom healthcare licenses have the following protections:
- RCCbc Zoom accounts have all audio and chat recording disabled so there is nothing stored anywhere to access.
- RCCbc Zoom accounts automatically lock and encrypt all sessions to outside access preventing anyone from jumping into an active session (aka “Zoom bombing”)
- Access to RCCbc Zoom sessions can only be accomplished if the host admits the participant into the session.
- RCCbc Zoom accounts do not allow users to sign in with Facebook.
Doctors of BC, First Nations Health Authority, Interior Health, and Northern Health are issuing Zoom healthcare grade licenses to their providers and communities. These accounts have similar protections to the RCCbc Zoom licenses.
Do I have to pay for a Zoom account to access RTVS?
Not at this time. The Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues is offering rural healthcare providers in BC the option to have access to a Zoom for Healthcare license.
Does the Ministry of Health endorse the use of Zoom healthcare licenses?
Zoom for Healthcare is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and PHSA and is HIPAA, PIPEDA and PHIPA compliant.
I am a physician and it looks like I can obtain a Zoom license from either my Health Authority or from RCCbc. Is there a difference?
RCCbc and all the Health Authorities in the province are providing the same healthcare-grade licenses. Some default settings may be different, but all these healthcare-grade accounts provide the same level of security and privacy.
One difference is that the accounts provided by RCCbc are pre-configured to provide direct access to the Real-Time Virtual Support contacts for rural physicians. If you have a Zoom account provided by a health authority, you can still access the RTVS pathways, but you will need to add the RTVS pathway contacts to your Zoom contacts.
Can I call back about the same patient again on the same day? Or call back again the next day?
Yes! The team is here for as many times as you need them, any time.
Are we still using the Patient Transfer Network?
If you think the patient is going to need a transfer, please call PTN as soon as you can, even if you’re using one of the RTVS pathways. We can even call PTN for you—just let us know.
I am concerned the Virtual Physicians will be frustrated with me or not listen to my concerns or wonder why I even called.
We understand that patient care is challenging. We’re your colleagues—we’re not here to judge. Don’t hesitate—RTVS pathways are here for you. All RTVS physicians on-call are friendly, understand the rural practice context, and are ready to support your needs.
What if I’m having issues with my Zoom account or have other general questions?
Contact the Rural Coordination Centre of BC at 1-877-569-4762 or email@example.com. An RCCbc team member is available Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.