Virtual waiting room: After-hours clinic

The Challenge

Before COVID-19, patients accessing the After Hours Clinic would wait in the corridor outside the clinic, pick a ticket, and wait to be called to see a practitioner. Due to social distancing requirements, having patients congregate in these spaces was a concern.

A COVID-19 testing center was also established in the same location as the previous AHC space, within the Georgian Bay Family Health Team.

The Solution

  • A virtual waiting room was established to provide medical advice about healthcare concerns NOT related to COVID-19. All patients welcome; those rostered to FHT physicians or South Georgian Bay CHC, unattached patients, and to those who visit the tourist town. This solution allows for safe social distancing practices and supports patients in remaining in their own safe environment unless an in-person visit is required.
  • Step 1: Patients can access the virtual waiting room one of three ways:
    • Use QR scanner to join
    • Call (705) 444-5885 to speak to a team member;
    • Visit and click “Get on Waitlist” button.
  • Step 2: Patients will receive a call from AHC staff for an assessment and information will be provided about next steps and timing if additional care is required. Majority of patients have a chart on our shared EMR (52 local physicians), AHC staff will create a chart for those who do not.
  • Step 3: Physician contacts the patient for phone assessment and clinical history. Wherever possible, deals with the concern virtually and sends an electronic prescription to preferred pharmacy, if needed.
  • Step 4: If an in-person visit is required, patient is advised to come in at a scheduled time. Physician dons appropriate PPE and greets patient, carries out physical assessment.

The Process

  • Patient accesses waiting room via QR code, phone, or website.
  • Assessment completed by phone, information captured in patient chart.
  • Physician connects with patient for virtual assessment & care.
  • In-person visit with physician arranged when necessary.

Contact us

  For more information on the Virtual Waiting Room—After-Hours Clinic, contact:

  • Gaynor Edwards, gedwards [at] gbfht [dot] ca
  • Judy Readwin, jreadwin [at] gbfht [dot] ca
  • Dr. Ashley Colter, ashleycolter [at] hotmail [dot] com

Georgian Bay Family Health Team LogoCollingwood after Hours Clinic Logo