"Telehealth refers to health care delivery, or related processes (such as education), when some of the participants are separated by distance and information and communications technologies are used to overcome that distance.
Telehealth can be a cost effective, real-time and convenient alternative to the more traditional face-to-face way of providing healthcare, professional advice and education. It can help to remove many of the barriers currently experienced by health consumers and professionals, such as distance, time and cost, which can prevent or delay the delivery of timely and appropriate healthcare services and educational support.
The objectives of using telehealth are to:
improve patient outcomes
drive greater efficiency in the way health care is delivered
support the delivery of the quality health care across the state and
make telehealth a viable alternate to the way some health care is traditionally delivered."1
TeleHealth Appointments Covid-19
* Appointment available - book for a Teleconsult on HOTDOC or call our surgeries.
WHAT WILL THIS LOOK LIKE
- No patients to come into VIC Medical Doctors, unless authorised by a GP
- online bookings can be made for a - telehealth appointment
- Reception will be working hard to handle all calls.
- GP’s will call around your scheduled appointment time. Please be ready to answer your phone, we will only try 2 times.
- If the GP would like to see you in person, they will advise you of this.
- Will be bulk billed (Fees Apply to Non-Medicare patient)
- Please ensure you give us your best contact number
- Documents e.g. Scripts, referral etc will be faxed as required
FOR MORE INFORMATION: COVID Hotline: 1800 831 099
Please keep calm, but follow protocols to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.
Thanks for your cooperation.
IMPORTANT – WE ARE OPEN!!
Please note that considering the current medical advice surrounding COVID-19, the practice has moved solely to Telehealth Consultations for the present time.
The doctors at the practice will be able to assist existing patients via phone calls but will bring patients into the practice for physical appointments if there is a clinical need.
Please call the practice on 9482 3881 to arrange for an appointment and request further information about the process.
You may be asked to wait in your car and a doctor will phone you before entry to the clinic.
Kindly DO NOT arrive at the practice without calling first.
We thank you for your understanding and co-operation as we work to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of our patients, doctors, and staff.
Appointments with our GP’s or Allied Health Providers can be made online or by calling our surgeries.
Coronavirus & The Future of Telemedicine and Telehealth Explained
Instead of attending a face-to-face appointment, telehealth uses technology to connect everyone to the medical appointment.
All participants will be able to hear and see – it’s just like being in the same room, but you can be anywhere.
Other people can join and participate – such as your family members, carers or other health or social care providers.
You will still receive the same standard of care, regardless of whether you attend your appointment face-to-face or via telehealth.
Telehealth services are provided using secure platforms. Like any face-to-face consultation your privacy and confidentiality will be maintained.
You can ask to receive your care via telehealth. Your clinician will discuss with you the type of telehealth that will be suitable to meet your needs, including what equipment is required. This could be a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or other specialised equipment.
Telehealth can take some getting used to, but it’s easy to set up. It’s a great idea to test your connection prior to your appointment and reach out for help if you have any problems. You will be given instructions on how to connect. 2
What is telehealth?
"Telehealth (also known as telemedicine or video consultation) is similar to Skype, and uses computer monitors or TV screens, video cameras and microphones to connect you to health care providers (e.g. specialists, doctors or other healthcare professionals) without you having to leave your current location.
Telehealth is used at Eastern Health to connect patients and health care providers to each other, when appropriate to do so, without the need for travelling to an Eastern Health facility. This will reduce your time, costs and stress associated with travelling to an appointment. Additionally, in a pandemic situation where social distancing or social isolation may be recommended, telehealth can assist you to have your appointment while remaining at home.
A telehealth appointment is just like a normal appointment; only the health care provider you will be seeing and speaking with is on a monitor or TV screen. You will be able to see, hear and talk to them as if they were in the same room as you.
Do I have to participate in a telehealth appointment?
No. You are able to attend a face-to-face appointment if you prefer. A telehealth appointment will only happen if your doctors consider it to be safe and suitable, and you are happy to participate. If you choose not to participate in a telehealth appointment, your decision will be respected, and you will be able to have your appointment in person.
In the situation of a pandemic when social distancing or isolation is recommended, telehealth may be the safest option for both you and your doctor. In this situation, the option of an appointment in person may not be available.
What are the advantages for you of telehealth?
Every patient’s situation is different but, in general, the benefits of this service include:
better access to specialist care
reduced waiting time to see your specialist
reduced travel time and costs
improved communication between your health care providers; and
reduced absence from work.
What are the disadvantages of telehealth?
Telehealth appointments may not always be clinically appropriate. You may require physical examinations, investigations or tests that require you to attend in person.
Poor internet connection may cause the video or sound to fail. If this occurs, you will be offered another telehealth appointment, or your appointment may continue over the telephone.
What happens in a telehealth appointment?
A telehealth appointment can be held between any two Eastern Health sites, from one Eastern Health site to another facility (e.g. Aged Care Residential Facility), or between an Eastern Health site and your home, depending on the needs of the patient, and the availability of telehealth equipment
Before your appointment, the health care providers will already have relevant information about you
It is your choice whether you agree to have other people present. A health care provider or an Aboriginal Health worker can be with you during your consultation, as well as any carers or family members you may wish to have with you for support
You may ask any of the people present to leave the room at any time if you wish to talk privately with your specialist
You will be able to see yourself on the screen – this can be turned off if you do not wish to see it.
If you need to be examined, a local health care provider will be there to carry out the examination.
What can I expect as a telehealth patient?
You can expect to receive care from health care providers who are educated and trained to use the telehealth equipment and to conduct telehealth appointments always be introduced to everyone in the appointment and have the right to decide whether you want them involved choose to end the appointment at any time and ask for an appointment in person receive health care that respects your privacy and confidentiality.
You can help get the best from a telehealth appointment by following these simple steps:be at least 10 minutes early to allow for preparation time don’t wear brightly patterned or reflective clothing as this may not show up well on cameras witch your mobile phone off or to silent mode speak clearly so your voice can be picked up by the microphone look at the camera so you can achieve good eye contact with the specialist; and if you have a question or need help during the consultation, just ask.Just like normal doctor’s appointment, your telehealth appointment will be private and confidential.
Whilst Eastern Health uses systems that meet recommended standards to protect the privacy and security of video consultations, it cannot guarantee total protection against hacking or tapping by outsiders. This risk is small, but it does exist.
By agreeing to a telehealth consultation, you give permission to your doctor to release the relevant aspects of your personal health information to those directly involved with your care. Please refer to Eastern Health’s Protecting Your Privacy brochure for more information about privacy.
Will the telehealth appointment be recorded?
No. Eastern Health does not record telehealth appointments and we do not give patients permission to make their own recordings. If your specialist or your other health care provider thinks it would be helpful for your treatment to record particular images during your appointment, they will first seek your written permission to do so.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
Telehealth requires a lot of coordination, so please try to keep your appointment. If you need to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible.
What if I have questions?
If you have any questions about whether a telehealth consultation may be suitable for you or what it might involve, please talk to your treating doctor or other health care professional." 3
Following information is from Eastern health:
Following information is from Department of health website:
"In a major boost for primary health care, the Australian Government is further strengthening telehealth arrangements as recommended by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and other medical experts.
The Hon Greg Hunt MP,Minister for Health
Date published: 10 July 2020
Media type: Media release
Audience: General public
In a major boost for primary health care, the Australian Government is further strengthening telehealth arrangements as recommended by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and other medical experts.
Under stage seven of telehealth reforms announced today, Medicare-subsidised telehealth services, introduced as a key part of the COVID-19 response, will now promote patients receiving continuous care from a patient’s regular GP or medical practice.
From July 20, Telehealth GP providers will be required to have an existing and continuous relationship with a patient in order to provide Telehealth services.
This will ensure patients continue to receive quality, ongoing care from a GP who knows their medical history and needs.
A relationship is defined as the patient having seen the same practitioner for a face-to-face service in the last 12 months, or having seen a doctor at the same practice for a face-to-face service during the same period.
In areas under stage three restrictions in Victoria, this requirement will not apply to those living under new restrictions in Victoria.
It will also exempt people under the age of 12 months or people who are experiencing homelessness. They will be able to have access to any provider. Our Government will closely monitor the impact of these exemptions and will consider further exemptions as necessary.
Requiring COVID-19 video and telephone services are linked to a patient’s usual GP or practice will support longitudinal, person-centred primary health care, associated with better health outcomes.
This change responds to advice from medical experts, such as the AMA and RACGP, and recognises that with restrictions now being lifted in many parts of Australia, it is important for patients to continue seeing their regular doctor.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the central importance of primary care to people’s lives and the Australian health system.
Telehealth has been enthusiastically accepted by doctors and patents alike. I hope and intend for telehealth to be a positive legacy of this crisis and am already engaged with the medical community in planning a long-term future for telehealth." 4