Telus Health is helping 26,000 family doctors across Canada conduct video consultations by integrating virtual visits functionality into its electronic medical records (EMRs) offering in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This innovation is coming at exactly the right time,” said Dr. Scott Styles, Ontario pediatrician, in a press release. “As the health crisis continues to keep all of us in our homes, it gives me peace of mind knowing I can video chat with my patients to provide them with primary care support during this time of great need, keeping both of us safe from unnecessary exposure.”

Available from tablet, smartphone or desktop, the company is offering this service for free for the first four months and allowing physicians to use virtual care fee codes. This makes the virtual visit functionality mobile while eliminating the need to switch between multiple digital tools for uninterrupted workflow and allowing physicians to focus more of their time on patient care, the company noted in the release. Patients can open the appointment link from their web browser, whether on their desktop computer or mobile device.

“Now, more than ever, we need to equip Canadian clinicians with the right digital tools to provide effective healthcare and ensure continuity of care for their patients,” said Luc Vilandré, the president of Telus Health and Payment Solutions. “We’ve worked around the clock to make EMR-integrated virtual care available much sooner, giving our physicians the ability to conduct virtual consultations via video while leveraging digital records and information.”

The news arrives on the heels of another announcement about Telus CEO Darren Entwistle’s donating his second-quarter salary to efforts helping frontline health-care workers amid the COVID-19 crisis. According to public data, Entwistle’s annual salary for 2017-18 was $1.375 million.

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