To: Family physicians and nurse practitioners
04-02-2020
New COVID-19 Website Hub for NSHA Staff and Physicians

NSHA launched a new website on Monday, March 30 that serves as a ‘hub’ of information about COVID-19 for NSHA staff and physicians. This website replaces both the COVID-19 web page for physicians and the intranet page for staff, and continues to evolve and be refined.

The COVID-19 website hub has a dedicated area for family practice and physicians:

The latest information related to the COVID-19 response will be posted to this website. Information in Dr. Nicole Boutilier’s daily physician update regarding COVID-19, as well as the Department of Family Practice weekly update, will link to documents stored on the new hub to ensure that the latest version is accessible.
Updated Quick Reference for Primary Care Providers in Family Practice

The COVID-19 Quick Reference for Primary Care Providers in Family Practice has been updated. The most recent version is available in the Hub:

Spectrum MD Antimicrobial Stewardship App

Spectrum MD, an antimicrobial stewardship app, is now available for physicians, pharmacists and nurses. The app contains current management guidelines for COVID-19, Community Acquired Pneumonia and Influenza. These guidelines are for adult patients in NSHA. Please refer to the IWK Spectrum app for information on managing pediatric, obstetrical, or gynecologic infections.

The app has the feature of ‘push notifications’, which enables the posting and automatic notification of up-to-the-minute treatment guideline updates to all who have downloaded the app. The Spectrum app also contains a full listing of formulary antimicrobials with dosing guidelines and local pathogen sensitivity information. Additional treatment guidelines will be added as they become available.

Please email feedback or questions to andrea.kent@nshealth.ca.

Note: If you do not have access to an Android, iPhone or other hand-held device, you can download the app to a computer, but you must download Google Chrome first. The app does not work with Internet Explorer.
Virtual Care – Faxing from Home

If you are working from a location other than your office (e.g. remotely from home), off-site fax send and receive capabilities are available in both MedAccess and Accuro. Within MedAccess, eFax and / or MedDialog can be used off-site as long as you have forwarded your fax number to MedAccess. Within Accuro, eFax can be used as long as you have an active Unite account and Accuro Communication Engine (ACE) Installed on your computer.

For help with setup of eFax or Unite & ACE, email: nshaemrit@nshealth.ca.

Information can be found within your EMR:
  • Accuro: User Guide Icon > Home Icon (Accuro Symbol)> Search field enter “fax”> Select “faxing.” Also, you can refer to this guide: Fax ‘How To’ Accuro.
  • MedAccess: Help > Search field enter “fax” > Select “fax integration” link. Also, you can refer to this guide: Fax ‘How To’ MedAccess.

If you need additional assistance with EMR functionality, call your EMR vendor’s help desk.
Virtual Care – New MSI Fee Codes Now Available in EMRs

The MSI Fee Codes for Virtual Care that were outlined in the Physician’s Bulletin on March 18, 2020 are ready for use in all MedAccess and Accuro EMRs across Nova Scotia. For Practimax users, it is standard practice to download and add MSI codes. The codes are available and instructions are given in a start-up message. For help with billing or problems accessing the fee codes, please contact your EMR vendor’s help desk.
Virtual Care – Telehealth Zoom Booking & Registration Information

To help support patient care and health care providers in the current COVID-19 pandemic, Telehealth Zoom has been approved as a virtual care platform for use on an interim basis for all health care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals and staff). For information about how to access this service or for resources, please visit Telehealth Zoom. Here are the latest documents that have been added on this site:



Changes in New Brunswick’s Cancer Service Delivery Affecting New Nova Scotia Cancer Patient Referrals

NSHA has received confirmation from New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health that a decision has been made to redirect all new Nova Scotia oncology patient consults to Halifax. Nova Scotia patients currently being treated in New Brunswick will be allowed to cross the provincial border to continue their treatment. We are working with the oncology managers at the Moncton Hospital and the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton to ensure a seamless process for new referrals. 

We are concerned about the impact this will have on patients, in particular those who reside in Northern Nova Scotia, who may need to travel further for specialty cancer care. Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst is only able to provide basic level systemic therapy. Planning is underway to redirect new patients requiring more complex treatment to the closest community cancer clinic with capacity to provide care. We are also exploring opportunities to address concerns related to travel and accommodations as well as maximizing virtual care options as appropriate. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
Maternal / Newborn Care Guideline

Pregnant women, newborns, and children due for vaccinations still require care during the pandemic. The College of Family Physicians of Canada have shared a guideline for interim well-child and prenatal visit schedule that providers can use and adapt to their local setting. Read more here.

Health Screening for Health Care Providers

NSHA’s occupational health and safety department provides initial COVID-19 assessments for health care providers to ensure they are virus-free and able to safely provide care. Physicians and NSHA staff can access the screening service by calling 1-833-750-0632 .
Mental Health and Addictions Program – Self-referral Information for Patients

NSHA Mental Health and Addictions Program is here to help.

The Provincial Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or someone concerned about them. Call (toll-free) 1-888-429-8167.

Nova Scotians can self-refer to NSHA’s Community Mental Health and Addictions clinics, Withdrawal Management Services, or Opioid Replacement and Treatment Program by calling 1-855-922-1122. Staff are available weekdays between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, and can help guide callers in what steps to take next. This line has voicemail in the evenings, weekends, and statutory holidays.
Additionally, there are a number of self-care options online .
Discussing COPD Action Plans with Patients

Primary care providers should consider talking with patients who have moderate to severe COPD about their COPD Action Plan and their potential need for rescue medications if clinically warranted. The Nova Scotia COPD Action Plan includes information about prescribing a short course of Prednisone and an antibiotic to be used if their condition flares up. Also consider having a similar conversation with patients who severe asthma about a plan for their care during this time.