Welcome to another week in the time of Covid-19. Hard to believe it is almost two months since the Premier announced schools would not re-open in the month of March and in the meantime, so very much has changed. So-called social distancing has morphed into physical distancing and being careful while out has turned into ‘please stay home.’
Over this period, most have transitioned to a new way of working and pivoted their practices to virtual services. This was not an easy decision for many and with concerns about a pandemic raging in the background this change has often felt confusing and somewhat overwhelming.
I am not new to the virtual world yet watching the information offered over the last few weeks has felt like navigating in a storm; every turn presenting new options, every report or commentary, the possibility of new issues. And confidentiality, well that has taken on a brand-new feel as we test out and trust our work to a multitude of platforms.
We recognize that there is still uncertainty regarding what offerings might be appropriate and secure and understand that not all your needs will be the same. As your Association we are working hard to provide you with workshops and information so that you are better able to make an informed decision on a choice of platform and system. To help meet your needs we have also stepped up our efforts to negotiate some new benefits on your behalf.
As you consider which platform is right for you and your practice, we are pleased to share that we have negotiated a new benefit for you with VirtualCare. This platform, designed by Think Research, is an Ontario Telemedicine Network Vendor of Record. VirtualCare will, we hope, help make it easy for mental health professionals to facilitate secure virtual visits with their clients via desktop or smartphone app. PHIPA compliant, VirtualCare offers one more solution to consider when looking at how best to offer your clients high-quality care during these unprecedented times.
OAMHP members will be able to access this platform for $10 a month with the first two months being offered free. For more information, see their website or contact VirtualCare directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope that this benefit will provide you with another option to consider as you work through how best to navigate these fast-changing times. I also want to extend my thanks to Think Research in offering this unique benefit to our membership.
For additional insight on online therapy check out the links and articles found at our Covid-19 resources page (https://oamhp.ca/covid19-resources/) . You can also ready Christian Crowe’s blog on this site about how to make the most of online therapy.
Keep safe be well and stay in touch – virtually.