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Virtual Care Toolkit

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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to the personal and work lives of all Canadian health care professionals. The only option for many Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (NSWOCs) to continue to provide support and direction to clients with wounds, ostomies, and continence challenges was through virtual care.


Most NSWOCs and many health care organizations / employers lacked experience in this method of providing care; furthermore, systems to support both the client and the health care professionals were not in place. Canadian NSWOCs developed a way to support their clients. We learned a lot individually and collectively, from protecting client privacy and information to gathering pertinent data without seeing a client in person.


In the fall of 2022, a group of NSWOCs interested in virtual care came together to develop this toolkit to assist Canadian NSWOCs to safely provide virtual care in their practices. No longer are NSWOCs required to figure it out as they go, as many had done in 2020.


The NSWOCC Virtual Care Toolkit is divided into five sections: Legal and Regulatory Considerations, Technology, Equity-Oriented Care, Delivery of Virtual Care, and Knowledge Transfer. Within each section, considerations for virtual care are highlighted, and suggestions for addressing these concerns are included. Much of the available literature in the realm of virtual care relates to wound care. The advice offered here for ostomy and continence virtual care is largely the expert opinion of the task force. We have chosen to use the term client throughout meaning a “recipient of care: in the community-client, in residential care-resident, and in acute care-patient.”

Quick response (QR) codes have been included in this document to aid you in accessing additional resources.

Task Force

Project Lead 

M. Laureen Sommerey, RN, BScN, MSN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)



Folashade M. Alalade, MClSc-WH, BScN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)
Helen Arputhanathan, MSc, BScN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C), IIWCC
Erin Ballard, BScN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)
Shelly Barnes, BScN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)
Allison Da Silva, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)
Rajwinder Dhamrait, BScN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C) 
Rhonda Darbyshire, BN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C), IIWCC
Neal Dunwoody, BA, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C)
Jessica Jones, BN, RN, stomothérapeute, WOCC(C)
Anna Kha, MClSc-WH, BScN, RN, CCN(C)
Carly St. Michel, MScCH, BScN, RN, NSWOC, WOCC(C), IIWCC



Technical writer and project manager John Gregory, IIWCC, ISWA, Opencity Inc., edited and produced this toolkit in collaboration with the task force. Thank you to many individuals for their help with this project at various stages, Rica Cadavez, Stephanie Chadwick, Dawn Damboise, Sara Debbih, Megan Hutton, Ana Kha, Loretta Pike, Nicole Pitcher, Joanna Eloisa Sigue, Amanda Sowiak, Teresa Stone, Veronika Surowiec, Wendy Whelan, Simon Woodside, Christina Yadav, plus our 14 anonymous peer reviewers.


Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC) operates on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.


Third party trademarks acknowledged.

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