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Zoom for Healthcare

Zoom for Healthcare is a cloud-based video conferencing software approved for the delivery of virtual health. To support virtual health visits, PHSA endorses the use of Zoom for Healthcare, not Zoom Basic.

Overview

Zoom for Healthcare is endorsed by the British Columbia Ministry of Health as part of the COVID-19 emergency response. PHSA is provisioning accounts to eligible health care users. These accounts are referred to as Zoom for Virtual Health Visits accounts.

Zoom for Virtual Health Visits is best used for scheduled or on-demand clinical appointments. It has screen sharing and chat functions that can be used for one-on-one or group sessions.

PHSA does not endorse the use of Zoom Basic (the free version) or Zoom Pro for hosting virtual health visits. These versions of Zoom do not meet privacy and security requirements for patient care.

Technical requirements:

  • Access to reliable internet (Wi-Fi or data)
  • A computer, smartphone (iOS or Android), or tablet with:
    • Speakers and a microphone (we recommend using a headset)
    • A webcam or built-in camera

Request a Zoom for Virtual Health Visits account:

  • The Office of Virtual Health (OVH) is coordinating the provisioning of Zoom for Virtual Health Visit accounts to users at the following organizations: 
    • Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) 
    • Providence Health Care (PHC) 
    • Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) 
    • HealthLink BC (HLBC) 
    • Doctors of BC (DoBC) 
    • Community Living BC (CLBC)
Request an account  

Please note the online form works best in Google Chrome. You will receive an account activation email once it is ready.

Patients can join a Zoom virtual health visit with or without an account.

Using Zoom for Virtual Health Visits

Clinical users can access Zoom for Virtual Health Visits in three ways:
  • Desktop application -- this is installed on most health authority workstations that are on-site and connected to the network
  • Mobile app -- download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from iOS or Google app stores
  • Web browser
Please always use your Zoom for Virtual Health Visits account to connect with patients.

Zoom for Virtual Health Visits resources

Zoom for Virtual Health Visits manual provides complete information on how to schedule, host, and use various functions within Zoom for Virtual Health Visits. Some popular topics have been extracted from the manual to create quick reference guides below.


Support and training

The Office of Virtual Health works with provincial partners to develop education and training resources for users of Zoom for Virtual Health Visits. We offer training sessions LIVE (with interactive Q&A). All levels of users are welcome to register and find more information through the link below on the Learning Hub.

  • Zoom "Learning Bursts" are short sessions delivered every Wednesday between 12:30 - 1:30 pm, focusing on topics about Zoom functionality and settings.
  • Zoom "In Depth" are 1-hour sessions delivered on the last Thursday of every month at 12 pm, featuring guest speakers and a diverse range of topics.
Click here for a complete schedule of our upcoming Zoom topics. You can also register for additional sessions on the Learning Hub here.


For patients and families:

Citizen Support Desk:

A support desk has been set up to help patients with any technical difficulty for their virtual health visits. The phone number for this service is attached to their email invitation for the virtual health visit.

You can refer to the Patient resources webpage for more information.

Privacy and security

  • Always use your Zoom for Virtual Health Visits account to connect with patients. This ensures the privacy and security of the virtual health visit is protected. Please do not use any other version of Zoom, free or paid.
  • This poster explains why other Zoom accounts – such as Zoom basic and Zoom pro – don’t provide privacy and security protection. It outlines how you can ensure you are using Zoom for Healthcare for your virtual health visits.  
  • Avoid using a public internet connection (e.g. external Wi-Fi) for your virtual health visit as it does not guarantee privacy and security.

Security configurations specific to PHSA Zoom for Virtual Health Visits accounts

We have applied the following configurations to even better protect privacy and security:

  • Virtual health visits are passcode protected 
  • 'Waiting rooms' for virtual health visits are enabled
  • Virtual health visits cannot be recorded
  • File transfer is disabled
  • Annotations during virtual health visits are turned off

We recommend the following actions to make your Zoom virtual health visit even more secure:

Do:

  • Double check that the invite is addressed to the correct recipient(s)
  • "Lock" the virtual health visit once all participants have joined
  • 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 

Don't:

  • Schedule virtual health visits using your Personal Meeting ID
  • Use distribution lists to send out invitations
  • Share links to join a virtual health visit on public-facing platforms
  • Enable option to allow removed participants to rejoin the visit after being removed
Risks and limitations
  • 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


SOURCE: Zoom for Healthcare ( )
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