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Office of Virtual Health

The Office of Virtual Health leads and provides strategic direction and innovation for the virtual health initiative at PHSA. It works directly with clinical teams to provide guidance and support as they integrate virtual health into their services.
Virtual health support during COVID-19

Virtual health toolkit 

The Office of Virtual Health (OVH) and the Digital Strategy & Enterprise Architecture team at PHSA have developed a virtual health toolkit for clinicians to use during the COVID-19 pandemic so they can continue to provide care to patients and keep them at home. 
Access COVID-19 toolkit

Zoom for Healthcare licences

As part of the COVID-19 response, the OVH is issuing Zoom for Healthcare licences to health care professionals at PHSA, Providence Health Care, Island Health, Doctors of BC, HealthLinkBC and Community Living BC.
Zoom for Healthcare


Partner with us

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Virtual health helps clinicians deliver care to patients in various ways:

Virtual health visit
  • A technology-enabled remote interaction between providers, provider(s) and patient(s), and patients and families to address the patients’ health 
Remote patient monitoring
  • Use technology to monitor a patient’s health (usually from their home), and share the information electronically with health care teams
Clinical digital messaging
  • Patients and their care teams can communicate using text messaging for administrative information exchange, appointment reminders and general check-ins
Online treatment and resources 
  • 24/7 access to web-based applications for anonymous, confidential and highly person-centred treatment for challenges with mental health or substance use

Go behind-the-scenes at virtual health projects in PHSA programs
Many PHSA programs have successfully integrated virtual health into their programs. Read the stories to get their feedback and learn about patients’ experiences. 

Get updates on our projects and our team 
Read the OVH quarterly newsletter.


The OVH collaborates with clinicians, their patients and operational leaders to identify a gap or need for virtual health in their clinical setting. We find an appropriate virtual health tool and gather requirements for it. We provide guidance and support for integrating the virtual health tool into the clinical program, and evaluate and support sustainability of the virtual health within their services. 


We provide clinical teams with project support in the following ways:

  • Identify and explore virtual health opportunities
  • Connect you with others in PHSA who are working on the same virtual health opportunities
  • Communicate with leaders in IMITS, Privacy, Risk, and Patient Engagement
  • Project and change management support, tools and coaching

What is the Office of Virtual Health?

The Office of Virtual Health is a service of Provincial Health Services Authority. PHSA Office of Virtual Health (OVH) was created in 2017, with an ambition of supporting clinical programs as they integrate virtual health into their services. 

What is virtual health?

Virtual health is a patient-centred care model focused on connecting patients, families and providers, using technology to optimize wellness, specialty care and outcomes. It supports people to receive care and stay well by using digital innovation to connect them to care seamlessly, when and where they need it. 

What does the Office of Virtual Health do?

The Office of Virtual Health leads organization-wide planning and coordination (including policy and privacy), and facilitates transformation, including process redesign, change management, project management, education and reporting. All of this work is done collaboratively with clinical, operational and corporate partners (e.g. IMITs, privacy and procurement).

The Office of Virtual Health works closely with clinical programs to identify their needs and the people who will benefit from using virtual health. Patient input is essential to project planning and implementation. 

Clinicians define the need for virtual health in collaboration with their patients and operational leaders, and set priorities for the program. The Office of Virtual Health then works directly with clinical teams; it defines and documents the requirements, and provides guidance and support to clinical programs as they integrate virtual health into their services.

What are the main services?

Following the PHSA virtual health initiative life cycle, the Office of Virtual Health manages and leads central processes in order to move clinical services forward and promote adoption across PHSA. 

Engagement>Discovery>Planning>Execution>Evaluation>Scale

How can I contact the Office of Virtual Health?

The Office of Virtual Health team is based in Vancouver and can be reached by email at officeofvirtualhealth@phsa.ca.

Where can I read articles or watch videos about the Office of Virtual Health?

Visit the News, updates and events section of our webpage (www.phsa.ca/health-professionals/professional-resources/office-of-virtual-health) to read our latest articles and catch up on our news.

You can find our social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram by searching the hashtag #OfficeofVirtualHealth.

If you are looking for video conferencing
Video conferencing sessions take place at numerous external locations across B.C. 

Video Conferencing Services is situated within the Information Management/Information Technology Services (IMITS) department. Visit the webpage to learn more.

Get started

What steps do you need to take to integrate virtual health into your services? The OVH has developed tools and resources that support clinical programs through all stages of integration.

We provide support to your team through all phases including: Engagement, discovery, planning, execution, evaluation and scale, so your team is prepared to sustain the virtual health project after it launches.  This includes providing project management and coaching support to the clinical team through:
 
Readiness Assessment Tool
  • Assesses a clinical program’s readiness to implement virtual health initiatives. The tool structures a review of the program’s capabilities and areas for improvements in relation to the implementation of a virtual health initiative.
Technical Assessment Tool
  • Engaging with IMITS partners to ensure virtual health tools are appropriate and viable for use on health authority devices and on the health authority network
Staff Engagement and Support Process Redesign
  • Analysis of workflow design for integration with virtual health tools and coordination of training and education for virtual health tools
Evaluation
  • Evaluation of virtual health tools against dimensions of quality including respect, safety, accessibility, appropriateness, effectiveness, equity, and efficiency

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 We will work with your team to identify education needs and facilitate training. 

We are currently developing eLearning materials for the different initiatives, so please visit this section again soon. 


Improving the patient experience is the driver of all Office of Virtual Health initiatives, and patient input is essential to project planning, implementation and evaluation. The OVH team supports clinical programs to engage with patients through four phases of work:
 
  1. Identify patients’ needs: This requires an understanding of patients’ compelling needs and their ability and willingness to use the virtual health solution.
  2. Co-design with patients: An open feedback loop ensures patient input guides the solution design.  Where possible, the OVH team uses formalized patient committees. 
  3. Evaluate patient input: A Patient Feedback Survey is used at key project milestones to ensure patient feedback guides continuous improvement.
  4. Deliver patient outcomes: Demonstrate improved patient satisfaction and experience.


Guidelines & policies

The following guidelines and policies were developed to support staff to safely and effectively use virtual health in their clinical practice.

PHSA virtual health policy

Please check back as this section will be updated shortly.

 

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