Q: Can I provide occupational therapy services via Skype for a client who has recently moved to another province until they are able to locate another occupational therapist?  

The College position is that the jurisdiction for the provision of occupational therapy services is defined by the location where the client resides. If an occupational therapist (OT) who is registered in Ontario plans to provide occupational therapy services in another province, the OT must contact the occupational therapy regulator in that province and take the necessary steps to ensure they meet the requirements to practice within that province. 

OTs are required to maintain the standards of practice in all situations where they provide occupational therapy, whether through direct client contact or by means of telepractice.  As with any form of service delivery, seeking informed consent from the client will require discussion about any risks and benefits associated with providing occupational therapy services remotely.   

Prior to proceeding with telepractice, an OT should be confident that the forms of technology used will allow for maximum privacy, security and confidentiality.  OTs must consider whether telepractice is an appropriate method to deliver health care in each specific situation. Additionally, OTs are expected to follow privacy legislation such as the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), and any other legislation relevant to the jurisdiction where the client resides. 

The College Guidelines for Telepractice in Occupational Therapy are a useful resource for OTs who are considering telepractice as a method of delivering OT services. 


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