Virtual Emergency Department. Available 7 days a week, for individuals 3 months of age and up, virtual video appointments via Zoom

Virtual Emergency Department

Michael Garron Hospital’s Virtual Emergency Department (ED) offers same-day virtual care video appointments for patients in East Toronto who are three months of age or older and are experiencing an urgent but non-life threatening health issue.

The Virtual ED is open daily (including holidays) in the afternoons with 15 minute appointments with an MGH ED physician.

Please keep reading to learn more about the Virtual Emergency Department.

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Hours
Location and Office Hours
Appointments available daily (including holidays) in the afternoons. Please note: The Virtual Emergency Department will be closed on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, 2022, due to technical upgrades.

If you are in severe distress, experiencing a life-threatening emergency or need in-person care, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department. 

 

When is the Virtual Emergency Department open?

  • The Virtual Emergency Department is open daily, including holidays, in the afternoon.
  • Appointments are booked for the same day and are 15 minutes long.
  • Daily bookings open at 8 a.m.
  • Appointments are first-come, first-served. If all appointment slots are filled or you feel you can’t wait, please go to an emergency department or urgent care clinic in-person.

IS A VIRTUAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT APPOINTMENT RIGHT FOR ME?

A virtual emergency department appointment may be the right option for a patient who:

  • has an urgent medical problem that they think is non-life-threatening, including minor ailments such as a finger infection or fever, or something more serious such as abdominal pain or mental health concerns;
  • is unable to reach their family doctor;
  • is well enough to wait up to several hours to discuss their concern with a physician at the booked appointment time; and
  • is 3 months of age or older

Patients who cannot wait for their booked appointment time should go to the emergency department in-person immediately.

Please note that Virtual Emergency Department appointments are not appropriate for individuals seeking narcotic prescriptions or renewals. Please see your regular provider for this.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A VIRTUAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT APPOINTMENT?

During your appointment, you will have the opportunity to speak to an ED physician about your health concern through a video call. Based on your needs, your physician may:

  • Address your concerns during the appointment
  • Discuss a care plan/treatment options
  • Give you a specialized care referral
  • Fax a prescription to your pharmacy
  • Recommend that you see your Family Doctor
  • Recommend that you go to the nearest Emergency Department

WHAT DO I NEED FOR A VIRTUAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT APPOINTMENT?

  • A smartphone, tablet or personal computer with a camera, speaker and microphone to join a video call.
  • Access to a reliable Internet connection.
  • A valid email address.
  • Your OHIP or IFHP number if you have one. Patients who do not have an OHIP or IFHP are still eligible to book an appointment. 
  • A private space where you are comfortable having a conversation with the doctor.
  • Wear clothing that will help you easily show the doctor your area of concern (for example shorts if you have a knee concern).
  • A friend or family member to help translate if needed.

HOW DO I BOOK A VIRTUAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT APPOINTMENT?

To book a virtual emergency department appointment, patients will need to:

  • Follow the booking steps on this page to schedule an appointment with an MGH Emergency Department physician.
  • An appointment confirmation email with details on how to join the video call will be sent to you by email.
  • At your selected appointment time, click on the Zoom video meeting link from the confirmation details that were sent to your email address.

Please note that patients must be currently located in Ontario to book their appointment.

frequently asked questions

Can I book a virtual emergency department appointment for my child or dependent?

Yes. The Virtual Emergency Department is open to anyone three months of age or older.

How is patient privacy protected during a virtual emergency department appointment?

MGH’s Virtual Emergency Department uses a virtual care platform called Verto to book appointments and Zoom for Healthcare to host the video visits. Both Verto and Zoom privacy policies comply with applicable legal and regulatory requirements including both The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Ontario’s stringent Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). 

Click here to review Verto's privacy policy.

Click here to review Zoom's privacy policy. 

To help us keep your information safe and secure, you can do the following: 

  • Understand that emails, calls or texts you receive are not secure in the same way as a private appointment in an exam room. Use a private computer/device (i.e. not an employer or third party computer/device), secure accounts and a secure Internet connection. For example, using a personal and encrypted email account is more secure than using an unencrypted email account. Access to the Internet on your home network will generally be more secure than an open guest Wi-Fi connection.
Is it safe to go to the emergency department in-person?

Yes. MGH’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is always here for you. We have taken great care to keep you as safe as possible during in person visits. We have large waiting rooms to allow physical distancing and provide masks for all patients and visitors.

Do I need to live in East Toronto or Toronto to use this service?

MGH’s Virtual Emergency Department aims to improve access to urgent care for our East Toronto community. It is not a requirement that you live in East Toronto, however a possible outcome of your virtual appointment may be to come in-person to the hospital or your nearest emergency department for care. For ease of continuity of care, those living in East Toronto would come to MGH. Any referrals made to specialists will also be in the East Toronto area.

Please note that patients must be currently located in Ontario to use MGH’s Virtual Emergency Department.

What do I do if there are no appointments available with MGH’s Virtual Emergency Department?

If all appointments for MGH’s Virtual Emergency Department are booked, please visit MGH’s Emergency Department in-person or book a virtual appointment with another hospital.

Other virtual emergency departments in the Greater Toronto Area are offered by Sunnybrook Hospital, the University Health Network and Unity Health.  Appointments may be accessed at this link: torontovirtualed.ca.

 

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