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Divisions of Family Practice
Divisions Dispatch
April 20, 2020


BC physicians can get Zoom licenses at no cost

Doctors Technology Office (DTO) in partnership with Provincial Health Services Authority’s (PHSA) Office of Virtual Health are now offering Zoom for Healthcare licences free-of-charge for up to one year to family physicians, specialists, and nurse practitioners working in private practice who have not yet received a license through their health authority.

Zoom for Healthcare is a cloud-based video conferencing software approved for the delivery of virtual health. These licenses have been made available through a funding agreement between the Ministry of Health and Canada Health Infoway, in support of ongoing efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For more information on how to obtain a license, contact

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RACE COVID-19 response: Extended hours and new specialty

RACE (Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise) provides access to real-time specialist advice via telephone, online, or through the RACE app. The following RACE services have been extended to ensure continued access to specialist advice in response to COVID-19:

  • Online & app only: Specialists have generously offered extended hours (after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends) in some specialties. Access them online at or through the RACE app (download at RACEApp+). The list of specialties can be found here.
  • A new RACE specialty, Infectious Diseases - COVID-19 (clinical), is available 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays to help clinicians with differential diagnoses, work-up, and management recommendations.

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DTO virtual care resources: Video tutorial series, e-faxing guide, weekly support sessions

As part of their efforts to help physicians transition to virtual care, the Doctors Technology Office (DTO) has created an evolving collection of resources on the Doctors Technology Office virtual care resources page. Some of the more recent additions are listed below:

Guide to e-Faxing
Physicians and MOAs working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic have had to adapt a number of workflows, including faxing documents from outside the office. DTO’s new Guide to e-faxing provides information including adjusted workflows, privacy and security best practices, and adding digital signatures.

Video tutorials and case studies
A new DTO video series includes training videos and recordings of webinars held with physicians and MOAs. Topics include a quick start guide to virtual care for MOAs, using Doxy.Me for virtual care and using MailChimp and Fongo for Patient Communications. Visit the DTO YouTube channel.

Weekly Virtual Care Drop-In Sessions
To provide doctors with an opportunity to discuss their emerging needs, questions and ideas, Doctors Technology Office (DTO) is hosting virtual care drop-in sessions every Thursday morning from 7:15 - 8:00 a.m. Click here to register for a session.

Other resources include:

For additional virtual care resources, visit the DTO virtual care resources page.

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Physicians: things you can do to strengthen your practice during COVID-19

The Practice Support Program (PSP) provides a range of activities and supports to help physicians and Medical Office Assistants (MOAs) build and enhance practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only are you investing in the long-term success of your practice by participating in these initiatives, you can also be compensated and receive MainPRO+ credits for all of these activities.  More information is available here.

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The BC College of Family Physicians launches virtual care campaign

The BC College of Family Physicians is building on the foundation of the Doctors of BC public campaign to raise awareness that physicians are providing virtual care appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to in-person visits as needed. Its website has been updated with new information highlighting the importance of ongoing care from a family physician, an explanation of the options for continuing to see physicians safely (video, phone and in-person), an overview of how virtual appointments can work, and links to reliable sources of COVID-19 information. A guide for members on how to reach out to their local media outlets about the campaign is also available.

A video for patients has also been created to explain what to expect from a virtual appointment, in addition to a 15-second public service announcement video.

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Postponement of the Fall JCC Events

The following Joint Collaborative Committee (JCC) events, previously scheduled for Fall 2020, have been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 public health emergency:

The GPSC Summit
The Specialist Symposium
The Joint Collaborative Committees Conference

Planning and scheduling new dates for these events will be dependent on the direction of the Provincial Health Officer  directions regarding large events.

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GPSC Spring Billing Webinars – Rescheduled to Summer/Fall 2020

Due to low registration numbers, the GPSC Billing Webinar Spring Series will be postponed to summer/fall 2020. Staff will email all registrants to tell them about the date change. The new dates will be shared on the GPSC website and in Divisions Dispatch soon.

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Free online support groups for people with chronic pain during COVID

Pain BC will now be hosting Pain Support and Wellness Groups online to provide free pain education and peer support to people with pain during physical distancing.

All groups meet online on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Participants can connect online or by phone.

For more information or to register, visit the website or call 1-844-880-PAIN (7246).

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Virtual stroke recovery sessions

The Stroke Recovery Association of BC and March of Dimes Canada are running virtual stroke recovery programs every Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. PT.

Physicians are encouraged to tell their patients about this service. No referral necessary; everyone is welcome.

Click here for more information and to register. For any questions, email

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Study: Short interviews on advance care planning

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for older adults to continue to have conversations with their health care providers and loved ones about their end-of-life health care goals.

The Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University is looking to conduct short over-the-phone interviews with family physicians and hospitalists whose practice includes 15 per cent or more patients who are 55 or older, and who self-identify as Chinese, South Asian, and/or LGBTQ. Phone calls will take approximately 15 minutes.

This project is part of the national "Improving Advance Care Planning for Frail Elderly Canadians" (iCAN-ACP) funded by the Canadian Frailty Network. The study aims to better understand Advance Care Planning discussions between doctors and elderly patients, including common barriers to discussions and useful tools for approaching this sensitive topic.

Interested physicians can contact Helen Kwan at, and receive an Amazon gift card provided for participating.

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Divisions in the News

Click here to read the latest news on the Divisions of Family Practice website.

The provincial communications team produces a twice-monthly newsletter designed to keep divisions up-to-date with the Divisions initiative. It is sent to local division executive directors, administration, physician leads, and board members. In order to minimize emails being sent these groups, we try to include as much in these newsletters as possible. We encourage you to share it with your division members at large. If you have a story you would like to submit for consideration, please contact Caroline McGechaen at

Media coverage is monitored by the Divisions of Family Practice provincial communications team and compiled on the Divisions in the News page.

This issue can also be found on the Divisions of Family Practice website.

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