Teledietetic Services

 

Background

Teledietetic services are about using two-way, real time interactive communications such as telephone or live video-conferencing between the consumer/patient and the service provider. Teledietetics is a cost-effective alternative to the face-to-face way of providing health services. It is a particularly valuable service for consumers who are living in rural and remote areas of Canada with limited access to health services. It is a helpful service for clients with transportation issues or health needs that do not require a face-to-face interaction with the health provider.

Position

Dietitians support access by Canadians to the right services by the right professional, at the right time, to address health needs. This means having access to a dietitian when you need one. Access to a dietitian via a call centre helps. It means quick, easy, affordable access to nutrition advice from a dietitian. It means not waiting weeks or months to get an appointment.

Actions

  • In the 1970’s, dietitians in British Columbia received government funding to operate the first province-wide dietitian call centre in Canada. Today this call centre is fully funded by the provincial government.
  • Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador also offer provincial dietitian call centres, free of charge to residents of those provinces. 
  • The call centre version of the Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) knowledge database developed by Dietitians of Canada is a customized tool that provides the foundation to assure evidence-based, consistent responses to caller food and nutrition questions. PEN supports dietitians to answer over 90% of the incoming calls.
    Learn more

Resources

  • Eat Well Saskatchewan Evaluation Report  (Full Report)   |   Executive Summary

    In 2018, the Government of Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (Saskatchewan) and Dietitians of Canada partnered to establish and operate a six-month dietitian call centre pilot project Eat Well Saskatchewan (EWS) to provide First Nations communities in the province with access to timely, high-quality dietitian services. The EWS Evaluation Report highlights the results of the pilot project and demonstrates that the evidence-based advice and information provided to clients lead to positive behaviour changes and increased healthy eating knowledge. The pilot project led to a province-wide dietitian call centre, Eat Well Saskatchewan, allowing all Saskatchewan residents to access a dietitian at no cost.

  • Dietitians in Teledietetics

    (January 2018) – This bilingual factsheet promotes the effectiveness of telephone counselling delivered by dietitians.

  • 2016 federal pre-budget recommendations

    (February 2016) DC's recommendations to the federal government address issues including food insecurity (Aboriginal, poverty), excise tax on SSB, access to home-/community-based care and telehealth dietitians, national workforce data base and nutrient database of Canadian foods.

  • Dietitians of Canada calls for pan-Canadian Dietitian Contact Centres

    (November 2014) – This brief submitted to the Advisory Panel for Healthcare Innovation describes the success of centres in BC, AB, MB, and ON. DC calls for support to establish Centres throughout Canada.

  • A call centre giving access to Dietitians is also possible in Quebec! (French)

    (October, 2014) – This document outlines DC's vision for call centres in Quebec.

  • Dietitian Services, HealthLinkBC

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