The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the opportunity for family physicians to use Telemedicine in BC. The appropriate use of Telemedicine can improve patient access to care, efficiency of care, and patient–physician collaboration. These benefits of Telemedicine must be measured, however, against the patient-level and system-level challenges associated with its use.
BC Family Doctors’ new position statement on Telemedicine in Primary Care recommends the following principles guide the adoption and use of Telemedicine:
- Telemedicine is best used within a longitudinal patient-physician relationship.
- Episodic Telemedicine services should only be provided as an intermittent and infrequent alternative to a patient’s family doctor.
- Evidence-based guidelines must be developed and regulatory standards expanded regarding the
appropriate use of Telemedicine in delivery of primary care.
- The encroachment of private, for-profit Telemedicine needs to be regulated and controlled.