COVID-19: COA Member Resource Centre

*last updated on April 7, 2020

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We are dedicated to getting through this together

The COA recognizes that our professional and personal lives have been shaken by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the COA leadership, committees, and staff members stand strong for our members. We are committed to providing you with every means of support possible to help you navigate through the changes you are experiencing as a health-care professional. We are working with our leadership and partner associations to deliver practical tools to assist you.

This page will be updated regularly and can be used as a point of reference to find answers and information on your COVID-19 related concerns. New information, resources, and guidelines from partner associations, the federal and provincial government, and the COA, will be added as they become available.

Check in and stay in touch: The COA’s pledge to you

In these uncertain and challenging times, your Association wants each and every member to know that we are all working together to support you during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to getting you important information as quickly as possible on our website, and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions or comments via email or on our Twitter and Instagram social media platforms. A member of our staff will try to respond as soon as possible.

COA President’s Statements

Learn more about how the COA leadership is managing this crisis by reading the most up-to-date statement by the COA President about COVID-19 here.

OE COVID-19 Resource Centre

Launched on Friday, March 27, OE’s COVID-19 Resource Centre is an evidence-based review platform in partnership with JBJS, a library of full text publications, exclusive podcasts, and member insights worldwide. Use the Resource Centre to stay updated on all emerging evidence related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Access it here.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Remuneration for Orthopaedic Surgeons During the COVID-19 Pandemic – COA Position Statement (April 2, 2020)

The 2020 World COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting Canada’s population and health-care system.  Our top priority, as orthopaedic surgeons, is the safety and health of all Canadians.  We support the government in their efforts to cancel activities, events, and nonessential services.  We agree that during a pandemic, patients should not attend hospitals or clinics for routine procedures and evaluations.  The duration of this pandemic is unknown but most estimates are a minimum of 3 months.  Physicians are a key element of the health-care system and the government has a duty to protect them both with personal protective equipment and availability.  Orthopaedic surgeons provide an essential service to the population and are committed to continue providing care for acute musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.  The ability to provide these services is challenging when physicians, who rely on fee for service income, experience drastic loss in income.  Physicians use their fees to cover the expenses of their medical offices.  If medical offices are forced to close from this financial impact, where will patients turn for care? Click here to view the COA’s Position Statement on Remuneration for Orthopaedic Surgeons During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Surgical Practice Risk Management

Available Soon

Organizations for Health Action (HEAL)

HEAL, Organizations for Health Action, is a coalition of 40 national health organizations, including the COA, dedicated to improving the health of Canadians and the quality of care they receive. HEAL provides a range of health care services across Canada.

Review their March 25 COVID-19 press release, including survey results regarding how COVID-19 is impacting national health organizations and their members. Review the findings here.

Federal Resources:

Government guidelines for patients and general public on the COVID-19 outbreak. This can be sent out as a primary and comprehensive resource outlining the official guidelines from the federal government to all citizens. Access it by clicking here.

What health professionals need to know: a guide that provides points of information specified for health-care workers in Canada. This page includes epidemiological information, diagnostic and reporting details, and recommendations to health-care professionals. Access it by clicking here.

Additional Guides by the Government of Canada for public health-care professionals:

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has issues guidelines for health-care organizations to help minimize the risk of exposure and transmission of the virus within practice settings. Access the links below:

Make sure to regularly check their COVID-19 page updated with the most relevant information for physicians and patients.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Leadership at the Royal College is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and responding to the changing needs of surgeons as quickly as possible. Committed to the health and wellness of Canadians, they are monitoring the effect of COVID-19 on all residents, Fellows and staff. The Royal College’s Crisis Management Team is working hard to ensure they are responding to the current needs of residents and Fellows.

In recent weeks, they have taken certain measures to support and assist all residents and fellows navigate through some negative consequences COVID-19 has had.  Their comprehensive FAQ statement addresses your questions and concerns related to your 2020-2021 membership dues and 2020 annual requirements. Access it by clicking here.

The Royal College has also collected accurate and up-to-date evidence-based information and resources accessible via these Global, pan-Canadian and regional resources

Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association and the Public Health Agency of Canada have teamed up together with the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health to communicate and share the most up-to-date information for physicians and patients.  Click here to access their comprehensive resource centre

Ontario Orthopaedic Association

Our colleagues at the OOA have published a resource page, accessible here. It includes their recommendations for patient interaction and details on setting up your virtual practice.

Choosing Wisely Canada

As a part of their COVID-19 resource page, Choosing Wisely Canada circulated a new list of 9 recommendations on April 2, 2020. These have been developed based on responses and input from stakeholders on efforts related to #COVID19. See the new list on using resources wisely for the public and clinicians by clicking here.

Access the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s web page on setting up your virtual care and Telemedicine guidelines by province. This page aims at helping health-care providers gain knowledge on Telemedicine and guide them through the first steps in establishing their virtual practice.  Access it by clicking here.

Managing your practice during COVID-19 by the Canadian Medical Association: A great source on how to manage patient visits and general guidelines on transitioning your practice away from in-person meetings. Access it by clicking here.

Telemedicine playbook (CMA, RC)

The Canadian Medical Association in collaboration with Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada, have developed a Virtual Care playbook. The playbook is designed to help doctors organize their virtual medical practice and addresses some issues behind this.  This playbook will support Canadian physicians as they introduce virtual patient encounters into their daily practices. The playbook, which is an extension to the recommendations put forward by the Virtual Care Taskforce earlier this year, covers key considerations for physicians to help them succeed at providing safe, effective and efficient virtual care.

The Royal College has published billing guidelines and government resources for each province, outlined in the quick links below (full article here):

The COA recommends that you regularly check provincial and federal communication channels to stay current on support programs in place for you.

  • Alberta: Use for all COVID-19 related virtual care (billing code)
  • British Columbia: Apply this temporary billing code
  • Manitoba: Use for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related health-care (billing code)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Upcoming income replacement assistance
  • New Brunswick: virtual care can be used for prescription renewal and follow-up advice
  • Nova Scotia: Retired doctors can practice again without fee (Also access additional information published by the Doctors of Nova Scotia here.)
  • Ontario: Use K080, K081, K082 or K083 billing codes for telemedicine care
  • Prince Edward Island: Doctors advised to use telemedicine
  • Quebec: Physicians can substitute medicine from another class and use virtual care
  • Saskatchewan: Use 510A billing codefor telemedicine and 515A billing code for virtual care related to COVID-19
  • Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut: Adopt telemedicine and virtual care if possible

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guide by the World Health Organization. This statement provides a basis on how to continue delivering clinical care and manage your patients in light of isolation, distancing, and quarantine. It is a great resource that can be shared with the general public and your patients. Access it by clicking here.

Canadian Medical Association COVID-19 poster and video

  • The CMA issued a comprehensive and informative poster for you to download and send electronically to your patients, or post on the front doors of your work place. Please feel free to use and share widely. Access it by clicking here. You can also watch and share their informative video.

COA Tips: Your well-being matters, more than ever before

In times of crisis, it is important to remember that in order for you to take care of others, you must first be taking proper care of yourself. Below are some tips on how to practice self-care and wellness

  • Ensure you are getting enough good-quality rest, hydration, and proper nutrition.
  • Stay virtually connected with your personal and professional support networks. Video calls and group messaging chats are an easy way to stay socially distant yet still socially connected.
  • Reach out and seek support when you need it! There are many governmental resources being initiated, so stay informed.
  • Make sure to move, every day. This can be a morning walk (at a safe distance from anyone you meet) or at at-home physical practice.
  • Manage uncertainty by reading information and updates from reliable and credible sources only, such as the World Health Organization situation reports here.
  • At home with children? This is undoubtedly a stressful time for them as well. Ensure that their feelings are taken into account and review some of the healthy parenting tips issued by WHO here.

Canadian Psychological Association mental health resources related to COVID-19

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) has issued fact sheets on some of the psychosocial aspects of this health emergency that you may find helpful.

The United Nation’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee Mental Health Resource

The IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings has created a useful resource to help navigate the public through important impacts the pandemic has on mental health. The briefing summarizes key mental health and psychosocial support considerations in relation to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

You can access it here and circulate widely in your professional and personal circles.