Zoom for Healthcare is cloud-based video conferencing software approved for the delivery of Virtual Health. To support Virtual Health Visits in the COVID-19 response, PHSA endorses the use of Zoom for Healthcare, not Zoom Basic.
This page has information to help get you started with Virtual Health Visits using Zoom for Healthcare. Click on a link below to jump to that section down the page.
For Virtual Health Visits:
- Zoom for Healthcare
- Skype for Business
For business (non-clinical) use:
Zoom for Healthcare
is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and PHSA for Virtual Health Visits. Accounts for Zoom for Healthcare are issued only to clinicians and clerks engaging in the delivery of Virtual Health Visits. Zoom for Healthcare is not for business or personal use. Zoom for Healthcare accounts can be requested
PHSA does not endorse the use of Zoom Basic (the free version) or Zoom Pro for any reason – clinical or non-clinical.
Skype for Business is also approved for Virtual Health Visits by the Office of Virtual Health (OVH) and is fully supported and endorsed by IMITS for business use. Learn more on our Skype for Business
Recent security concerns raised in media are mainly related to the free version of Zoom (Zoom Basic). To protect the privacy and security of your Virtual Health Visits, PHSA is using Zoom for Healthcare. This version is endorsed by the BC Ministry of Health for conducting Virtual Health Visits. Additional measures have been put in place to make appointments and your patients' personal information even safer.
For more details on how we're working to ensure the security and privacy of your Virtual Health Visit:
- View this Zoom security best practices infographic for quick tips on securing your Visits
this memo from OVH and the IMITS Digital Health team
- Scroll down to the
Privacy & security section further down the page
The OVH is provisioning Zoom for Healthcare accounts to users from the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), Providence Health Care (PHC), Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), HealthLinkBC (HLBC), and Doctors of BC (DoBC) and government groups. If you are planning on providing care to patients virtually, coordinate with your operational leader before requesting a Zoom for Healthcare account at
https://bcvh-zoom.phsa.ca. Please note the online form works best in Google Chrome.
Once your Zoom for Healthcare account is ready, you will receive an account activation email. Please activate your account promptly.
The Zoom for Healthcare desktop application has been installed on most health authority workstations that are connected to the network on site. For your mobile device, you can download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from the Apple or Google app stores.
Please always use your Zoom for Healthcare account to connect with patients. We recommend the desktop application or mobile app for conducting Virtual Health Visits, and logging into your account on a web browser for scheduling the visits.
We will be hosting webinars on how to use Zoom for Healthcare for Virtual Health Visits. Register at the link below.*
Get started with Zoom
| July 30, 3 to 4 p.m.||
At this link|
*Clinicians and administrators at BC Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre can get Zoom for Healthcare training specific to their program through the Learning Hub (register
- For one-on-one and group Virtual Health Visits (including live screen sharing and chat)
- Scheduled consult or on-demand Virtual Health Visits
- Clinical employees can access Zoom for Healthcare through the desktop application, mobile app, or web browser.
- If using a computer, we recommend using a headset and camera for better audio and video experience. If using a mobile device, we also recommend connecting a headset with built-in microphone. Detailed guides to help you schedule and start an appointment are in the section below called
Guides for Virtual Health Visits.
- Patients can join Virtual Health Visits using a computer or mobile device (iOS or Android).
- Zoom for Healthcare is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and PHSA for use under the emergency response due to COVID-19.
- A security review of Zoom for Healthcare identified it is hosted within Canada and therefore is approved for continued use in B.C.
- As long as the host, typically the clinician, is using Zoom for Healthcare, the security and privacy of the Virtual Health Visit is protected, regardless of whether or not the patient is using a free account or joining as a guest. The privacy and security of the Virtual Health Visit is, however, not guaranteed if the patient joins using a public internet connection.
- In accordance with the PHSA Virtual Health Policy, health authority employees are authorized to only use Zoom for Healthcare accounts for Virtual Health Visits. Please do not use any other version of Zoom, free or paid.
- Zoom Video Communications is committed to protecting the security and privacy of their customers' data. The Zoom for Healthcare platform is compliant with Canadian Data Protection regulations, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Learn more in the Zoom
PIPEDA Compliance document.
Zoom for Healthcare meets PHSA privacy and security requirements. We have updated the following configurations to even better protect the patient’s security and privacy:
- All Virtual Health Visits are password protected
- Virtual ‘Waiting Rooms’ are enabled for all meetings
- Virtual Health Visits can no longer be recorded
- File transfer has been disabled
- Annotations during Virtual Health Visits are turned off
We also recommend taking the following actions to further ensure that your Virtual Health Visits are secure:
- Always double check that the invite is addressed to the correct recipient(s) and never use distribution lists.
- Discourage sharing Virtual Health Visit links on public-facing platforms
- “Lock” the session once all participants have joined the Virtual Health Visit.
- Only allow the host to screen share during the Virtual Health Visit.
- If screen sharing, ensure no personal information from anyone other than the patient is being shared. If others are participating in the visit, request the patient's permission before screen sharing personal information.
- Enable/assign a Co-Host to manage participants during the Virtual Health Visit. Disable the Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin option to prevent removed participants from joining the visit again.
- Bandwidth capacity: health authority infrastructure and performance load to support simultaneous sessions and performance (use case dependent)
- Potential to send meeting invite to an uninvited recipient
- Unintended sharing of personal identifiable information
- Policy constraints if user is on external Wi-Fi or in a public setting
Introduce Virtual Health to patients
Check the technical readiness of your patients. Patients can join a Virtual Health Visit from the Zoom Cloud Meetings mobile app (available on iOS and Android) or Zoom Client for Meetings desktop application.
Obtain the patient's personal email and send an email to validate their email address.
Schedule a Virtual Health Visit
Schedule the Virtual Health Visit as a meeting (recommended) or webinar and send the invitation. Please refer to the table comparing
Meetings vs. webinars for Virtual Health Visits
. The invitation to the Virtual Health Visit will contain a link to join the visit and a link to
Conduct the Virtual Health Visit
Find a location that is private, well lit and with reliable internet connectivity.
Open the Zoom desktop application or Zoom Cloud Meetings app and click "Meetings" to locate and start the visit. Please do not use the web browser to host the session.
In the unlikely event of technical issues, please switch to a telephone visit or reschedule the visit.
Document the encounter in the patient record as usual.