We are reminding Manitobans to continue seeking care for chronic diseases and other medical issues that should not wait for COVID-19 to pass.
This page offers resources for physicians.
About the patient awareness campaign
Physicians are worried about their patients, particularly those with chronic conditions and other essential medical conditions during the pandemic. To help remind Manitobans that they can and should continue to seek care, Doctors Manitoba has started a patient awareness campaign called “Don’t Put Your Health on Hold.”
Patients will see this message on social media, search results and on various web sites, with a reminder to call their doctor for advice on seeking care. Patients will also learn about virtual care alternatives that are available during the pandemic.
You can view the public website for more information.
What Should Physicians Do?
In a nutshell, be ready. When patients call your office, here are some tips to ensure your practice is ready to meet patient needs during the pandemic:
- Respond to patient calls in a timely fashion
- Ensure your office phone line is answered when possible.
- Set up a voicemail message with clear instructions for patients and monitor it regularly (at least once or twice each business day, if not more often).
- Offer advice to patients about seeking care
- Set up a process to quickly identify issues that can wait and issues that should be assessed and treated now. For example, some physicians are deferring annual physicals for healthy individuals.
- If care is required, consider what should be offered in-person vs. virtually.
- In-person care considerations
- Follow our tips guide to keep your practice open, including screening patients and following cleaning and disinfection protocols
- Consider provincial PPE recommendations, and what to do if you have insufficient PPE.
- Consider other strategies to apply social distancing advice to your practice. This could include limiting patient capacity in your waiting room or creating a “virtual” waiting room in your parking lot by directing patients to wait in their cars until phoned or texted to enter the clinic.
- Consider reorganizing your clinic space and staffing to isolate any symptomatic patients in one zone and asymptomatic patients in another.
- Maximize use of virtual care
- Set up your practice to offer phone and video visits. See our virtual care resources for assistance.
- While the initial tariffs approved by Manitoba Health are limited and Doctors Manitoba is aggressively pursuing an expansion to virtually meet other essential health needs during the pandemic, maximizing the use of virtual care is an important strategy to keep patients and physicians safe.
As you know, CPSM has reminded physicians of their duty to continue providing care for their patients during COVID-19. Following the tips above will help you to meet your patients’ care needs and your professional obligations.
How Can Physicians Share the Message with Patients?
As a physician and trusted voice, you are in the best position to share this message with your patients. Doctors Manitoba has prepared the following resources to support you in reminding your patients not to put their health on hold during the pandemic.
Direct Email Message
We have prepared an email template to support you in telling your patients not to put their health on hold during COVID-19. You can adapt this template and image as needed and use your EMR or other email solution to contact your patients and encourage them to call you with their health concerns.
Read more about common EMR products and how you can use them to get this message out to your patients.
Social Media: #CallYourDoctor
Please use the following resources to help you share this message on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks, and tag your posts with #CallYourDoctor and link people to callyourdoctor.ca.
Adapt the following text to accompany your post. We suggest short, concise messages that help remind people to stay on top of their health and to call their doctor. It’s also great to personalize these to connect with your social media followers. Keep the focus on patients’ needs and how doctors are still their to help!
Now more than ever, it’s important to stay healthy. #CallYourDoctor to see how they can help or visit callyourdoctor.ca to learn more.
Don’t wait or guess about your health concern. #CallYourDoctor to see how they can help or visit callyourdoctor.ca to learn more.
It’s always important to stay on top of your health, even during COVID-19. Doctors are still here to help. #CallYourDoctor to see how they can help or visit callyourdoctor.ca to learn more.
Don’t put your health on hold! #CallYourDoctor to see how they can help or visit callyourdoctor.ca to learn more.
You can also make use of the following materials to help share the news with patients about staying on top of their health:
What Else is Doctors Manitoba Doing?
We know the pandemic, and the measures to fight it, are having major impacts on your practice. We know the health system has let many of you down when it comes to PPE, an adequate set of virtual visit tariffs to meet your patients’ essential health needs and other issues.
We continue to strongly and aggressively press for solutions to the issues that concern you. Please continue to contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to raise your concerns, offer your suggestions or ask for help.