Virtual Primary Care in Northern, Rural and Remote Canada

Rapid Review 26

Li J., Roerig M., Saragosa M., Abdelhalim R., Jamieson M., Allin S. & Marchildon G.

English – [PDF]

Virtual care has become a vital component of primary care delivery as health systems respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, the effective use of virtual care is perhaps nowhere more urgent than in northern, rural, and remote communities. While these jurisdictions have taken major steps to further develop and implement new virtual care services, our understanding of the key features involved in providing accessible, efficient, and satisfying virtual care is limited. Combining a review of scholarly research and insights from expert and local informants, this rapid review for the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) provides an overview of virtual care in the northern, rural and remote area of Canada and identifies key considerations for successful implementation of virtual care. The results of this review are intended to inform discussions of where, how, and in what way virtual care approaches could be used to improve the quality and access to primary care in these often-underserved communities.