Telemedicine

Under Review: No
Issued by Council: January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council: June 5, 2014


  1. For the purpose of this Standard, “telemedicine” means the provision of medical diagnosis and patient care through electronic communication where the patient and the provider are in different locations.
  2. A physician who practises telemedicine for a patient located within Alberta must:
    1. hold a valid and active Alberta practice permit with the College; and
    2. adhere to the College Standards of Practice, Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.
  3. Notwithstanding subsection 2 (a), a physician who does not hold a valid and active Alberta practice permit may practise telemedicine for a patient located within Alberta if:
    1. the total number of telemedicine events are limited to five (5) times per year; or
    2. the telemedicine event is for emergency assessment or treatment of a patient.
  4. A physician who holds a valid and active Alberta practice permit and practises telemedicine for a patient located outside Alberta must comply with the licensing or registration requirements of the jurisdiction in which the patient is located.
  5. A physician must not issue or sign a prescription, by electronic or other means, unless the physician:
    1. obtains a medical history and conducts an appropriate examination of the patient adequate to establish a diagnosis and identify underlying conditions;
    2. ensures there are no absolute contraindications to the treatment recommended or provided; and
    3. has an appropriate, informed discussion to ensure the patient understands the risks, benefits and course of action if concerns are identified.
  6. Notwithstanding section 5, a physician may issue a prescription without meeting the full scope of the requirements listed above in the following circumstances:
    1. for emergency treatment of a patient; or
    2. in consultation with another physician who has an ongoing relationship with the patient and who has agreed to provide ongoing supervision of the patient’s treatment; or
    3. in an on-call or cross-coverage situation in which the prescribing physician has access to the patient’s medical records.


The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings. About the CPSA Standards of Practice

Contact

For archived standards, policies and guidelines:
Chantelle.Dick@cpsa.ab.ca