Therapists often ask if they can use video-platforms to provide remote counselling and which platforms are best for private practice. While there are functionality factors to consider when making your decision, most importantly, platforms should appropriately protect and secure patient information. If you are in Ontario, this means complying with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA).
There are many benefits to using a secure platform when conducting sessions via video, including:
- Personal Information – Limitations on the amount of personal information that will be collected and restrictions ensuring that only you, the provider, have access to this information.
- Regulatory Obligations – Regulatory colleges set out rules and obligations with respect to protecting patient health information and confidentiality. Using a secure video platform allows you to meet these obligations.
- Encryption – Meetings are secured with end to end encryption, typically with at least 256-bit encryption, and meeting access controls so that data in transit cannot be intercepted.
- Secure Authentication – Requirement for strong passwords and structured authentication by therapists and clients.
- Third Parties – Client information is not shared with third parties.
Greenspace recommends the three platforms below[i], as you consider whether offering video counselling is right for you. Each of the platforms either has a free option available or is reasonably priced.
- Zoom.us: zoom.us
Information on Zoom’s PHIPA compliance can be found here.
- Doxy.me: doxy.me
Information on Doxy’s PHIPA compliance can be found here.
- OnCall Health: oncallhealth.ca
Information on OnCall Health’s PHIPA compliance can be found here.
Note that Facetime and Skype are not considered secure platforms and are generally not recommended for video-counselling as they do not meet the required privacy/security standards.
We hope this information is helpful and please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
[i] Note that Greenspace does not guarantee the privacy, security or reliability of each of the third-party platforms. Therapists should consider the privacy and security implications of using any online platform before using it with clients.