Standard of Practice

Under Review: No
Issued by Council: January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council: June 5, 2014

  1. For the purpose of this Standard, “telemedicine” means the provision of medical diagnosis and patient care through electronic communication where the patient and the provider are in different locations.
  2. A physician who practises telemedicine for a patient located within Alberta must:
    1. hold a valid and active Alberta practice permit with the College; and
    2. adhere to the College Standards of PracticeCode of Conduct and Code of Ethics & Professionalism.
  3. Notwithstanding clause 2(a), a physician who does not hold a valid and active Alberta practice permit may practise telemedicine for a patient located within Alberta if:
    1. the total number of telemedicine events are limited to five (5) times per year; or
    2. the telemedicine event is for emergency assessment or treatment of a patient.
  4. A regulated member who holds a valid and active Alberta practice permit and practises telemedicine for a patient located outside Alberta must comply with the licensing or registration requirements of the jurisdiction in which the patient is located.
  5. A regulated member must not issue or sign a prescription, by electronic or other means, unless the regulated member:
    1. obtains a medical history and conducts an appropriate examination of the patient adequate to establish a diagnosis and identify underlying conditions;
    2. ensures there are no absolute contraindications to the treatment recommended or provided; and
    3. has an appropriate, informed discussion to ensure the patient understands the risks, benefits and course of action if concerns are identified.
  6. Notwithstanding clause 5, a regulated member may issue a prescription without meeting the full scope of the requirements listed above in the following circumstances:
    1. for emergency treatment of a patient; or
    2. in consultation with another regulated member who has an ongoing relationship with the patient and who has agreed to provide ongoing supervision of the patient’s treatment; or
    3. in an on-call or cross-coverage situation in which the prescribing regulated member has access to the patient’s medical records.

About the Standards of Practice

The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings.


For questions or archived standards, policies and guidelines contact our Standards of Practice Advisor.

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