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PwC Privacy and Security Virtual Care Standard

The shift in virtual care

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the deployment and use of virtual healthcare. This trend is only expected to increase.


The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) observed that % of consults in Ontario shifted to virtual care within the first months of the pandemic, and patients sustained this adoption of receiving care in the succeeding months1.

Privacy and security have long been key pillars in the healthcare industry, and they have become even more central during the shift to virtual care. Ensuring trust and transparency in this space is crucial for healthcare professionals, patients using virtual care, and the private and public sector companies providing it.

Building trust in virtual care

While privacy and security are critical to building trust for virtual care adoption and use, there remains a lack of industry-recognized standards to guide virtual care teams, their patients, and other stakeholders.

In response, PwC developed a made-in-Canada Privacy and Security Virtual Care Standard in collaboration with TELUS, an industry leader in privacy and security. The goal of the standard is to build trust around the security of information and the protection of patient privacy in the virtual healthcare space. This standard defines specific privacy and security controls that can be implemented by virtual care service providers and their service providers, and which can be easily digested and understood by patients.

What does this mean for organizations receiving or delivering quality healthcare via virtual care services?

They can understand how to:

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Better secure the virtual care platform and protect patient privacy

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Support buy-in and adoption of virtual health-care services in the midst of the pandemic and beyond

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Promote and inspire patient/citizen trust in virtual care

While this standard does not aim to replace provincial or federal regulations, guidelines provided within the document will help support your organization in addressing your security and privacy obligations.

The findings outlined in the standard will be particularly helpful for individual practitioners, health-care practices and providers, as well as virtual health service builders and providers.

This standard enables virtual care service providers to set clear guidelines on virtual care delivery to earn the trust of their patients, allowing for an innovative, useful and scalable service model within the Canadian health-care system.

This virtual health-care standard was developed in collaboration with TELUS, a technology company with a long-standing commitment to protecting privacy. To learn more, visit www.telus.com.

1 CIHI Study (online resource) - How COVID-19 affected physician services

Contact us

​Jordan  Prokopy

​Jordan Prokopy

National Privacy Practice Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 869 2384

Angela Ma

Angela Ma

Partner, Healthcare Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 687 8514

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