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SafeMedicationUse Newsletter



How to Prepare for a Virtual Meeting with Your Health Care Provider


2020-04-15

virtual meeting

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care providers have started speaking with patients by phone or video call, instead of having in-person appointments. Even hospital staff are starting to use technology to communicate with their patients. They are doing this as a way to maintain physical distancing, because the virus can easily be spread from one person to another.

If you have an appointment for a "virtual meeting" it's important for you to be prepared. Before the meeting, collect the following information:

  • Your symptoms and what you are worried about.
  • Ongoing health issues, including pre-existing conditions (for example, diabetes or heart disease).
  • Allergies to medications, foods, or environmental factors.
  • A current medication list, including medication name, strength, and instructions.
    • Look for a summary of recently filled prescriptions from your pharmacy, if you don’t have a list.
    • Include any nonprescription and natural health products that you use regularly.
    • Tell your health care provider if you take your medications in a different way from the instructions on your prescription labels.
  • Tests that have recently been done, such as blood work.
  • Contact information for your doctor(s) and your pharmacy.
  • Your telephone number and the name and telephone number of your key contact person.

Take this information with you if you go to the hospital. Bring all your medications in a clear resealable plastic bag. Carry a cell phone or other mobile device and its charging cable, in case hospital staff needs to set up a virtual meeting with you.

Virtual meetings can provide many benefits and they are a new reality in times of physical distancing. Ask for one to replace an in-person appointment. Partnering with your health care team, and having information ready, will help support a successful virtual meeting and safer care.



Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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