WorkSafeBC Soon to Accept Digital Signatures

As of September 2021, WorkSafeBC will accept digital signatures from injured workers to authorize the release of relevant medical records from their treatment providers.

Workers will have the option of entering a digital signature on their Worker’s Authorization for Release of Personal Information form (Form 69W1) and then uploading the form directly to their claim file.

The organization doesn’t anticipate this new service option will generate additional work for treatment providers or medical office assistants. It’s designed to make it easier for workers to provide authorization to WorkSafeBC, reduce administrative and mailing delays, and enable the organization to request records from practitioners earlier. Treatment providers and WorkSafeBC will be able to expedite recommendations and referrals for appropriate treatment, helping restore injured workers to their life and work in a safe and timely manner.

B.C.’s Electronic Transactions Act allows for digital signatures in place of handwritten pen-to-paper signatures. WorkSafeBC will accept digital signatures drawn on a touch-screen tablet or with a mouse.

Please share this information with any of your office staff who receive WorkSafeBC’s authorization forms for the release of information.

To learn more, refer to the Question & Answer: Digital signatures resource from WorkSafeBC.

Statement on Indigenous Racism in BC Health Care

Photo Above: Remarks and teachings offered by Sulksun (Shane Pointe), Knowledge Carrier, Salish Nation. | Photo Credit: Michael Sean Lee

As a health profession regulator, COTBC recognizes that over 100 years of abuse of Indigenous children in residential schools in Canada has caused deep vulnerabilities in social determinants of health for Indigenous peoples today.

Further, the In Plain Sight report (PDF) released last year detailed findings of ongoing, widespread systemic racism against Indigenous peoples in the B.C. health care system.

On July 27, 2021, registrars from 11 Health Regulatory Colleges in B.C., including the College of Occupational Therapists of BC, gathered with an Indigenous leader, knowledge carrier and witnesses to sign a Joint Statement of Apology and Commitments to Action in response to the In Plain Sight report (PDF) at an intimate ceremony at Spanish Banks in Vancouver on the unceded, ancestral, traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

You can read the Joint Apology and Commitments to Action in full online but here are a few excerpts:

“As the leaders of health regulatory colleges in British Columbia that govern more than 21,000 health professionals, we respectfully and humbly apologize to Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), communities and registrants of our respective Colleges who have experienced and suffered from racism while engaging with our organizations or with the health professionals we regulate.”

“We recognize that several months have passed since the In Plain Sight report was first published. Our communication comes now with the benefit of cumulative and collective learning to be intentional and self-reflective on our personal and systemic biases that are preventing Indigenous peoples from accessing and receiving safe health care services.”

Joe Gallagher (k’ʷunəmɛn) opens the ceremony with a land acknowledgement and welcome. | Photo Credit: Michael Sean Lee

 

The ceremony where the Joint Statement was signed was informed by Indigenous culture. For example, the ceremony location included an anchor sculpture as a symbol of the signatory Colleges being grounded in this important moment of commitment; and a mountain with a human form in the distance was the official witness of the ceremony.

To get a sense of the ceremony, a short (60-second) video was created that you can watch below or on YouTube.

We hope that this apology and commitment to action can be the start of a new journey to restore our relationship and enable collaborative work toward continued reconciliation and healing.

Registrants, please review the College’s progress on the commitment to Indigenous cultural safety and humility.

New Practice Standard for Infection Prevention and Control

The College recognizes that March 2021 signifies one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This past year has brought the principles of infection prevention and control to the forefront of providing safe, effective and ethical occupational therapy practice.

The new COTBC Practice Standard for Infection Prevention and Control was developed following the recommendation of the Patient Relations, Standards and Ethics Committee and in consultation with the Provincial Infection Control Network of British Columbia. While we acknowledge registrants are already immersed in this work, please take a moment to review the new standard to ensure you are meeting practice expectations.

Call for Nominations to the Board

Play an important role in the COTBC election by nominating the best possible candidate or decide to run for yourself.

Those who have served confirm it is a positive and rewarding professional experience. Registrant participation on the Board is the healthy reflection of the profession’s commitment to protect the public.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, October 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm. For more information visit our Elections webpage.

This year electronic ballots will be available, and voting will open November 2, 2020.