Frequently Asked Questions
Please ensure your SPAM filer on your email address is not filtering our emails. Our results notifications and initial contact by physicians is through email correspondence.
TeleTest is focused on providing an exceptional patient care experience. We understand that timely access to care and quality of care are important issues for patients. We strive to improve your experience, and we love your feedback. If you have any recommendations for how we can serve you better, feature requests or improvements to our existing service we would love to hear back. Please send us an email at [email protected]
TeleTest is an Ontario-based online healthcare platform that allows patients to get tested for common conditions and receive prescription medications. We've been operating since 2021. We are a virtual care provider that works with CPSO licensed physicians to provide access to testing and prescriptions remotely.
TeleTest allows for same-day access to testing and medication. You don't have to wait in a health clinic or walk-in and can conveniently arrange lab testing from your phone.
The process is confidential and secure and follow-up medication for treatment when appropriate is faxed to your preferred pharmacy.
TeleTest charges for access to messaging a physician (real-time chat or via Secure Mail). When you select your test panel you are provided with a link in our patient portal to book a time to securely message a physician, or correspond with a doctor through asynchronous Secure Mail.
The payment does not cover the actual cost of the lab test. However, the actual cost of the lab test is often covered by your normal insurance e.g. OHIP in cases like sexual health screening.
TeleTest was founded in January 2021 in response to the pandemic. During the pandemic, many clinics closed their doors, and others have continued to limit in-person care, often to the detrimentent of sexual health. We hope to streamline care and empower people to get tested. We think it would be a great idea to be able to view your results confidently, and with the support of a team of physicians if you have any questions.
There is an STI pandemic across Canada: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-stis-rise-across-canada-after-limited-access-to-testing-and-treatment/
We've helped reduce barriers to accessing STI Testing in Ontario and patients are grateful they've been able to access care in a timely fashion, with the utmost confidentiality.
Most insurance plans cover online medical consultation with a physician. We send you a receipt for your consultation or subscription, which you can use to seek reimbursement from your private insurance or HSA. We're working on direct billing with your insurer.
We've created a number of FAQ pages that you can access to review commonly asked questions, related to specific diseases or test procedures. You can access them from our FAQ page.
TeleTest uses Canadian Practice Guidelines from various disciplines to guide surveillance testing. We recommend testing only in accordance with Choosing Wisely and Guideline Recommendations.
If you have any medical or testing questions, you can bring them up at the time of your messaging consultation with the doctor.
The most common order guides are found here:
- 1.Select your desired test or medication panel and complete a short assessment to determine if online care is appropriate for you. Check-out.
- 2.We’ll ask you some follow-up questions through a short survey about your medical history and symptoms.
- 3.Select a time (same-day) to message a physician. You’ll get a link through our portal.
- 4.Secure message (through a real-time messaging chat or mail) a physician who confirms your history, and answers any questions you have.
- 5.If you have no questions, your requisition or medication is released immediately. Prescriptions are sent directly to your pharmacy and lab test requisitions are faxed to the lab you selected. You also get a chance to print your lab requisition if you wish.
- 6.Results are released to our patient portal when available.
Your requisition is faxed to the lab of your choice at the time of your messaging chat. Simply show up at the lab with your ID and the lab completes all necessary testing. You can visit Life Labs, Dynacare or Alpha Labs. We work with all lab providers in Ontario.
You select your lab at the time of your request.
Labs use high-quality, accurate and validated tests that are better than home-testing kits currently available.
We do not bill OHIP for arranging your testing services, so your family physician will not be penalized for your use of TeleTest. If you have an abnormal test result, it is reviewed with a physician through secure messaging, so we do not bill OHIP for treatment and your family doctor doesn't get in trouble for your 'outside use'.
We're here to support you and your family doctor, and make accessing care easy. If you are part of a Family Health Team or rostered to a physician, you can use TeleTest without worrying about your doctor being penalized for testing purposes.
TeleTest charges for access to secure messaging/mail communication with a physician. Messaging consultations are currently not covered by OHIP insurance in Ontario. The fee TeleTest charges does not cover the cost of testing but in nearly all cases your card will cover the cost of testing.
Some testing (i.e. Vitamin D) might be uninsured and you might have to pay separate lab fees at the time you visit the lab.
If you would like to obtain access to testing with your OHIP card, please find a local walk-in clinic or urgent care centre and visit their location in person.
Most of the tests available through TeleTest are insured tests. That means you do not have to pay lab fees. For example, STI testing is available to anyone with OHIP coverage as access to STI testing is a medical necessity.
If the doctor includes additional testing that is not medically necessary (i.e. Vitamin D testing), then you have to pay separate lab fees at the time you visit the lab.
The government has determined that some testing should not be covered by OHIP. If you're curious about your Vitamin D levels, or your lead levels, but don't have a medical diagnosis that warrants Vitamin D or lead level testing, then our doctors cannot order testing under OHIP insurance.
Examples of tests that do not routinely inform clinical decision-making are T3 and T4 levels (thyroid-related). These tests are generally ordered, if at all, as uninsured tests.
TeleTest follows guideline recommendations for test frequency. For example, eligibility for diabetes screening is determined using your intake questionnaire based on the CANRISK Tool (a calculator used to estimate your risk of having diabetes). Testing is limited to the frequency recommended by The Candian Diabetes Guidelines. If you would like more frequent screening than currently recommended, you would pay for these tests as uninsured tests.
STI testing can be accessed as frequently as you wish, provided you have a valid medical reason to test.
We ask that you complete an initial intake to ensure your concern is appropriate for virtual care. After check-out, we gather a few more details about your medical history to determine the appropriateness of the test. Once completed, choose a time to confirm your details are accurate with a physician and if you have any questions, you can ask them. Once confirmed, your requisition is immediately released to the lab. All requisitions are faxed immediately and take 24 hours to process by the lab, but you get a digital copy of your requisition in case you want to print it off and go in for testing right away (skipping the 24-hour waiting period). Dynacare reports 3-4 hours to turn around faxes, and Life Labs reports 24 hours. Results are uploaded to our portal when they are released by the labs.
We don't make appointments for you at the lab you selected. Please reach out to the lab to see if they accept walk-in services or are appointment only. The information is usually accessible on their respective websites (Dynacare/LifeLabs/Alpha Labs).
If you are completing only urine testing or a vaginal swab, NO APPOINTMENTS are required. Simply show up to the lab and notify them you are dropping off a urine sample or need a swab, and you do not need to schedule an appointment.
We provide follow-up of abnormal test results (i.e. high cholesterol, new diabetes, positive chlamydia result) and a diagnosis and management plan. Most importantly, we have helped hundreds of patients get treated for chlamydia and gonorrhea. We ensure you have a clear plan to manage or further investigate a medical condition.
We do not share results with your primary care provider. While we do encourage a strong relationship with your primary care provider (sexual health is an important part of your family doctor's training, and we can assure you while it may seem awkward for you, its something we're all happy to help treat and manage), we understand many people do not want STI results going to your Primary Care Provider (PCP).
Our results are made available only to you. However, our results are part of Ontario's Laboratory Information Management System (OLIS) and results can be viewed by any healthcare provider involved in your care if they are specifically looking for your results.
As an example, if your family physician was investigating a concern you had and accessed OLIS data to review old information, they would be able to see that you went for testing and could review the results.
Your family doctor is never sent results when you go for testing through us, unless you request it at the time of your lab visit.
No. TeleTest does not allow for you to bypass the normal testing process. You still have to visit the lab to provide blood and urine samples for testing. We have no special arrangement with the lab that allows for faster testing.
We streamline the process by providing you with a testing requisition after a messaging consultations with a physician, and fax your paperwork directly to the lab. This allows you to visit the lab directly after a consultation. You simply show your ID and get tested.
We also upload results to your patient portal, so you don't need to return to a clinic to review your results, as is typical for most interactions with doctors' offices.
How long does it take to get results?
All results are processed by publicly funded laboratories. The following are typical test times associated with each individual result. We upload the results as soon as they are available. If you receive a partial lab result on your portal, please note the additional results will be released as soon as they arrive. Our bloodwork often arrives sooner than quoted, but these are officially quoted public health times.
Urine Gonorrhoea/Chlamydia: 3 Days (usually 36 hours)
HIV/Syphilis: 10 Days (usually 2-4 days)
Herpes: 10 Days (usually 7 days)
Syphilis: 6 Days (usually 3-5 days)
Hepatitis B/C: 6-10 Days (usually 3-5 days)
Rectal and Throat Gonorrhoea/Chlamydia Swabs: 5-7 Days
Days = Business Days
I visit the lab and completed my testing. I would like another test added to my paperwork - is that possible?
To obtain new testing after completing an initial set of tests, you can request new paperwork by completing another consultation request. This involves selecting a new test panel, completing the intake history and then booking a time to message a physician. TeleTest physicians do not add testing or issue new requisitions outside of a consultation.
I would like to add more testing to my paperwork but already completed my consultation. What should I do?
We receive a large volume of requests for modification of paperwork after completing a consultation. New testing can only be arranged at the time of a physician consultation.
To add new tests, you must complete a new consultation request. This involves selecting a new test panel, completing an intake history, and booking a consultation time. TeleTest physicians do not add testing or issue new requisitions outside of consultations (i.e. via email). Your new consultation may not be with the same physician you originally spoke with.
It is important to note that additional testing is only added to requisitions if deemed medically appropriate by the ordering physician. If testing is not appropriate, a physician may decline to order specific tests requested.
Once you complete a consultation with a physician, our system does not permit you to access the same physician for a follow up request. This includes a request for medication.
Our system will connect you with a physician once we receive results, if you have abnormal results and require medication for treatment of an infectious disease.
To request medication after a consultation is completed, you must complete a new consultation request. This involves selecting a new test panel, completing an intake history, and booking a consultation time again. Please note that you may not be reconnected with same physician you originally consulted with.
TeleTest provides episodic care and does not provide ongoing follow-up in the context of normal results. We do not form an ongoing patient relationship with you after your initial consultation with us, and provide care similar to what you would receive in an emergency room or walk-in clinic. If you are experiencing symptoms in the context of normal results it is advisable for you to seek follow-up care in person with a doctor as an examination is often required.
If you would like to discuss further with any doctor at TeleTest before going in for an exam, you're entitled to book a follow-up appointment with a doctor at TeleTest by completing a new consultation request.
If you experience symptoms after consulting with a TeleTest physician, we recommend seeking an in-person evaluation from a local physician, as a physical examination might be necessary. You have the option to schedule another TeleTest consultation for additional guidance prior to an in-person appointment. To arrange this, please complete the check-out procedure and provide an updated intake history. Note that you may not be reconnected with the initial physician.
During this follow-up consultation, the TeleTest doctor may prescribe medication or advise an in-person visit with a local physician. Please be aware that TeleTest does not process prescription authorization requests from pharmacies, and prescriptions are exclusively transmitted at the time of consultation.
I've developed symptoms since I completed my testing, but my test results aren't available yet. What should I do?
If you experience symptoms before test results are available, we recommend seeking an in-person evaluation from a local physician, as a physical examination might be necessary. You have the option to schedule another TeleTest consultation for additional guidance prior to an in-person appointment. To arrange this, please complete a new consultation request by selecting a panel, completing the check-out procedure and providing an updated intake history. Please note that you may not be reconnected with same physician you originally consulted with. If you have fevers, feel unwell or feel you are experiencing a medical emergency, please seek care through a local emergency department.
We receive a large number of requests to have a follow-up call or messaging chat with a physician. Once you complete a consultation with a physician, our system does not permit you to access the same physician for a follow up request.
To ask any follow up questions after a consultation is completed, you must complete a new consultation request. This involves selecting a new test panel, completing an intake history, and booking a consultation time again. Please note that you may not be reconnected with same physician you originally consulted with.
TeleTest physicians can provide an immediate prescription for the treatment of chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes.
TeleTest cannot provide treatment for HIV and Syphilis but we can test for these conditions.
If you are concerned about a needle stick injury, sexual assault or confirmed exposure to someone with Hepatitis B or HIV, please seek out care through an emergency department.
We do offer treatment for transmissible infections. If you have a positive result for chlamydia/gonorrhea/trichomoniasis, our physicians will be in contact with you with medications for treatment. We also contact you if you have a positive result for syphilis and HIV. If you have cold sores or genital herpes, we can prescribe oral Valtrex (valacyclovir) to treat outbreaks. Oral medications are far more effective than cream-based treatments.
You can access STI testing through a local walk-in clinic or emergency room with a valid Ontario health card for free. You would typically require two separate doctor's appointments - one to obtain a requisition and one to review the results and/or receive treatment. Many clinics operate under a 'no news is good news policy' meaning they don't call you for negative results, and many often make you book a follow-up appointment to review results. TeleTest allows you to view your results through our portal, and if you would like to share your results with a new partner, you can share your results at your own discretion. Some clinics also provide free access for those without a valid OHIP card. You can always call ahead to determine test availability for non-OHIP insurance.
Of course - please email us at [email protected] and we will fax it to a revised address immediately. You also get a digital copy of your requisition to your email address after ordering a test, so if you're in a bind and find a walk-in appointment, you can print off a copy and bring it with you. Labs take 24 hours to process our faxes so by emailing you the requisition, you have the flexibility to go in immediately.
Please check out our page on Interpreting Your Results. If you are unsure of how to interpret your results, please email us at [email protected] and a physician will be in contact with you. All abnormal results are displayed with a flag on our patient portal 'abnormal result detected' and a physician will reach out to schedule an appointment via secure messaging and/or phone call.
Here's a list of some simple changes that would have a dramatic impact on STI care in Ontario.
- Allow labs to carry Roche Cobas PCR Swabs, so men and women who are at higher risk who require anal and oral screening can self-swab. This eliminates the need for additional costs to provide basic STI screening.
- Allow labs to carry Copan Viral PCR swabs, so patients can self-swab suspected viral HSV outbreaks. HSV swab testing is time-sensitive, and if a 72 hour window is missed, it can result in a missed HSV diagnosis.
- Expand the scope of pharmacists to administer Ceftriaxone injections for confirmed cases of gonorrhea. Cefixime + azithromycin is 2nd line treatment and routinely provided because of access issues. This contributes to drug resistance and greater disease burden due to treatment failures.
- Expand the scope of pharmacists to administer Penicillin injections for confirmed cases of syphilis, or routinely supply this to walk-in clinics so they can administer treatment.
- Create a limited use code for doxycycline, azithromycin and cefixime so anyone with a prescription (even without ODSP) can access STI treatment for free without visiting an STI clinic.