Shoppers Drug Mart intros in-store virtual care service
Shoppers Drug Mart, in partnership with Maple, has launched in-store virtual care access across its British Columbia locations.
These online doctor visits at the Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies are covered by the British Columbia Medical Services Plan, or MSP, like in-person appointments, the Canadian retailer said.
Virtual care services are intended to support those who may not have access to a family doctor, as well as alleviate pressure on emergency rooms, hospitals and walk-in clinics.
“Health is top of mind for everyone, particularly now, and this new service will help British Columbians get the medical care they need, when they need it,” Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers Drug Mart said. “Even if you don't have a family doctor, you can get fast access to medical care in your neighborhood and the support of your local pharmacist, all in one place.”
Currently, the in-store virtual care is available in 12 stores across British Columbia and is expected to expand to all locations across the province by August 4.
Through these virtual visits, doctors are able to examine patients via video, while also taking advantage of such in-store tools as rapid strep tests, ask questions about symptoms, review health history, and determine a diagnosis, as well as a treatment plan.
“Providing flexible care options to keep patients out of hospital and clinics is more important than ever for Canadians,” Brett Belchetz, CEO and co-founder of Maple and a practicing ER physician said. “In-store virtual care is the perfect solution for this need. We are pleased to partner with Shoppers Drug Mart to join the expertise of our physicians with their pharmacists in one easy stop, effectively moving care into our communities.”
Pharmacists will help set patients up with an in-store tablet or by using a QR code on their own device. Visits take place in the pharmacy’s private counseling room, and prescriptions can be picked up at a local pharmacy from within the Maple app.
In-store virtual care will be available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific Time.