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Telephone consults

Telephone care has been a long-standing way of connecting with patients that can include consultations, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and education.

When to use it 

Telephone is very familiar to providers and patients and is best used when an in-person visit is not required, and an audio call meets the patient's needs.   

Best use

  • Appointment reminders (note that other virtual solutions in this toolkit include a patient appointment reminder)
  • Simple information delivery and direction 

Technical requirements 

  • PHSA cell phone or landline (recommended), or personal telephone


  • Very familiar to providers and patients
  • Good for use when clinician and patient already have a relationship 
  • Simple information sharing 


  • Patient may not be prepared unless appointment is made prior to call
  • Patient/provider will not have any visual contact, which can impede assessment, communication and a sense of connection  

Privacy and Security 

  • Cell phone call by patients may be routed outside Canada 
  • Providers cannot see if the patient is alone, or in a public space 


Step 1   
Obtain patient's preferred phone number. 

Step 2
Document patient phone number used for clinical call.

Step 3
Clearly identify yourself, your role, your program and the purpose of the call.

Step 4
Verify patient identity by requesting 2 unique patient identifiers (full name, date of birth, PHN). 

Step 5
Obtain verbal agreement from patient and document in patient record. 

Step 6
Ask patient if they are ready for the conversation and are in a private space where they will not be overheard. 

Step 7
Document the call, as you would usually document patient care (call results, patient response, agreement for next steps in their test care). 

SOURCE: Telephone consults ( )
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