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What to Expect From an Online/Virtual Medical Cannabis Appointment

By January 29, 2021 August 20th, 2021 No Comments
Reading Time: 7 minutes

COVID-19 has changed the way that Canadians access healthcare. Online doctors have become more commonplace in 2020 and we are glad to be able to continue to see all Canadians from coast to coast virtually through a secure online platform.

*While we normally do offer in-person consultations at one of our 5 locations, all of our appointments are currently done virtually via telephone or a secure video-platform (webcam), and can be done from anywhere across Canada.

 

What’s an online/virtual medical cannabis appointment and why are you offering them?

Apollo’s virtual appointments provide Canadians with access to a healthcare practitioner who is able to prescribe medical cannabis anywhere across the country. The appointment offers great convenience, as it can be completed from the comfort of your own home and are completed through a secure video or phone call, where you get the opportunity to speak to the doctor directly. Appointments can be completed on most devices including a phone, tablet, or computer. At Apollo, we will send you an easy to follow instructional email with basic steps to be completed before your appointment date. 

Patients begin the process by booking an appointment over the phone or online with a booking agent, setting up an appointment with a doctor for a medical cannabis prescription. Every patient is provided with a personalized education session teaching patients how to use their medicine, where it comes from, and how they can easily fill their prescription online or by phone for home delivery. Apollo offers its gold standard services seamlessly online and in clinic, Canada-wide.  If you ever have any questions or need help, our support team is available by phone 7 days a week.

 

Are online medical cannabis appointments safe and secure? How is my privacy protected?

At Apollo, we take the protection of our patient’s personal health information very seriously. All of the information a patient provides is protected under the same laws that govern any patient/healthcare provider relationship under the Health Information Protection Act and is kept confidential. All patient data sent to and stored within the software used at Apollo is encrypted end-to-end using industry-standards, which is the same technology used by financial institutions and other healthcare institutions.  

Your appointment will be completed by phone or over a secure video platform that is easy to connect to by simply following the email sent to you. Healthcare video platforms are created for the protection of your personal health information and ensures total confidentiality and data security, which is why Apollo uses special healthcare platforms for patient visits.

 

Before your online appointment

Once you have booked your free appointment at Apollo, you’ll receive an email with all of your appointment details and next steps.  Before your appointment, you’ll need to fill out a simple medical assessment questionnaire so your physician has an understanding of your medical history and any medications you may be taking.

 

What do I need for my appointment?

For your appointment, you will need:

  • A valid Canadian health card
  • A good telephone or internet connection
  • Ensure the medical assessment questionnaire that was sent to you is filled out prior to your appointment

Do I need a doctor’s referral? What if my doctor or specialist doesn’t approve of medical cannabis?

We don’t require a referral to be seen at Apollo. That said, we are happy to work with your current physician, or specialist, and ensure they are sent consult notes after each appointment. 

If your doctor doesn’t approve or understand medical cannabis, we are still happy to see you for a free appointment. If you wish, we can also connect with your physician to provide information or research on medical cannabis and why it may be a potential treatment option for your condition. Find more commonly asked questions here on our newly updated FAQ page.

 

Am I able to cancel my appointment if I have a conflict? What happens if I miss my scheduled appointment time by accident?

We require 48 hours notice to reschedule an appointment and it’s best to call or email so we can help find a new timeslot. If you cannot keep your appointment time, we would love to try to help another patient with their medication needs, so please contact us as soon as possible.

We understand that life happens and some situations are out of your control, so please speak with our team as soon as possible to see how we can best help you. If you do miss your appointment time by accident, please call us and a booking agent will help you to reschedule a new appointment time.

 

Day of Your Appointment

Your Consultation 

We will connect with you by phone or video at your scheduled time where you will connect with the physician or nurse practitioner (NP). It is best to be in a quiet room with a strong phone or internet connection. 

Once you connect with the physician or NP, you will get the opportunity to discuss:

  • Why you are looking to use medical cannabis
  • Ask questions you have about your conditions or symptoms you are looking to manage 
  • Learn how medical cannabis may help alleviate your personal symptoms for relief
  • Discuss if medical cannabis is a safe and suitable option for you based on your prescription medications and medical history

At the end of the consultation, the physician or NP will fill out a medical document, which is your prescription for medical cannabis. This medical document is sent to a Licensed Producer (LP) which is the “pharmacy” where you can fill your prescription once you’ve registered with them. LP’s grow and sell high quality, Health Canada regulated products that are shipped directly to patients based on their online or phone orders. Your educator will handle all of the paperwork associated with your medical cannabis document, so there’s no extra work required on your end as a patient.

 

Your medical cannabis education session

Shortly after your consultation with a physician, an Apollo patient educator will give you a call. Their role is to provide you with a full education session on medical cannabis so that you feel confident using your medicine. This is a great opportunity to ask in-depth questions around ingestion methods, dosing, strains, pricing, how to fill your prescription, and more. Our patient educators are expertly trained in medical cannabis and available products. Not only will they help you find the best medication options, but they’ll also help you register with a Licensed Producer(s) to fill your prescription. 

Education sessions also cover topics like THC vs CBD, vaporization vs. ingestion (softgels, oils, or edibles), traveling rules, and how Licensed Producers operate as a Health Canada approved facility to grow and deliver your medicine. If you ever have questions come up after your initial education, you can call our support team 7 days a week toll-free at 1-877-560-9195.

 

After your appointment

Upon completion of your appointment with a physician and consultation with a medical cannabis patient educator, you’ll be able to fill your first prescription with the Licensed Producer you chose to register with! If this is done during your education with your educator, you can expect it to be mailed discreetly to your residence generally within 2-5 business days. Before using your medical cannabis, be sure to follow the dosing strategy that was given to you in your personalized treatment plan. You may also have been advised to use a notebook where you can record and keep track of your daily dose. Keeping track of the strains you use, your dosages, and the time to onset is a perfect way to find your ideal dose of medical cannabis that best helps alleviate your symptoms. Additionally, this helps provide your physician with a better understanding of your progress when you have your follow-up appointment.

 

How do I sign/authorize the documents online that I would normally sign in-person at a clinic?

We can send any documents that are required to be signed/authorized over our secure encrypted software for a digital signature. All that is required is access to an email account on a smartphone, tablet, or computer and an internet connection.

 

Ongoing Support 

With or without a follow-up appointment, the team at Apollo is always here to help answer questions and provide advice on your medical cannabis treatment plan. You can reach our support team by either calling 1-877-560-9195 or sending an email to support@apolloresearch.ca.

 

I already have a medical cannabis document/prescription – can I register with Apollo still? Can you help me register with a different Licensed Producer?

We would be happy to help you, whether your medical cannabis prescription is active or not. If you do already have a prescription and would like assistance with a new LP, or would just prefer a new doctor, please contact us to set you up for a free consultation at your convenience. Apollo can assist you with writing a new prescription (which would override an active medical cannabis prescription you may have), registering you with your desired LPs, providing guidance on recommended products, and dosing for your symptoms. We can even help you fill your prescription if needed.

 

Virtual Appointment Summary

The appointment steps can be broken down into 4 easy steps:

  1. Book your free appointment
  2. Speak with the healthcare practitioner by phone or video
  3. Receive your education session & fulfill your prescription online or by phone.
  4. Medication is delivered to your home

If you would like to book a free virtual appointment with Apollo Cannabis Clinics, please feel free to fill out the form here, send an email to booking@apolloresearch.ca, or give us a toll-free call at 1-(877)-560-9195.

 

Over the past 6 years, we have worked to make sure our patient process and education is patient friendly, informative, and stress free. Our process at Apollo is similar to any other medical doctor’s office, where we work with you to learn about your past medical history and provide you with a full education on how to use & fill your prescription for your new medication. You will be guided through the process where our team consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, support staff, and more will help you from start to finish. 

A common question we receive is around “What separates us from a recreational cannabis store?”. The most important part of that answer is that as a cannabis clinic, we are legally allowed to give medical advice to our patients regarding their conditions, symptoms, and using cannabis to help with said conditions – whereas any recreational source is not legally allowed to provide even strain suggestions for medical relief purposes. Our education is what truly separates Apollo, ensuring all of our patients are well educated on the medicine, strains, process, and how to dose properly. As a medical clinic, we do not sell cannabis ourselves but will assist you with registering with any Licensed Producer in Canada where you can fill your prescription for your medicine directly. 

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