Telehealth services have been revolutionary in supporting improved health outcomes and access to healthcare services, and doing so in cost-effective ways.
Telehealth increases access to healthcare, allowing patients and medical practitioners who live remotely, are in self-isolation or are considered high risk such as those aged over 60 years, to obtain clinical services simply. Telehealth also enables remote hospitals to provide emergency and intensive care services. Yet, the digital technologies that fuel telehealth can benefit patients and healthcare providers in areas all across Australia, not just those in remote locations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and face-to-face access restrictions with healthcare providers continue to be enforced, reliable, efficient and cost-effective telehealth services have never been more essential for enabling a healthier population.
As Australia’s largest ehealth company, Telstra Health offers a wide range of sophisticated telehealth solutions that are supporting specialists and primary care providers to deliver care.
Our solutions are enabling increased and improved access to virtual healthcare regardless of location, providing much-needed support to health services and the patients they care for. And as Australians band together to flatten the curve of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care services such as those mentioned below are more relevant now than ever before.
Virtual Clinical Services
Telstra Health Virtual Clinical Services provide a customisable solution comprising of virtual consultation by phone or video and coordination services to help healthcare services provide safe, high quality care for everyone.
These solutions enable organisations to provide healthcare through virtually coordinating and connecting patients with doctors, specialists, psychologists and allied health professionals. This means patients can receive outpatient care at home, and clinicians can provide this care from a virtual location; a particularly useful capability for patients and clinicians who are in isolation during the current pandemic.
This complete solution comprises video-conferencing technology which enables a virtual consultation, and, if needed, additional clinician resourcing can be facilitated by Telstra Health to augment the health service clinical capacity to deliver these services. It can also coordinate virtual appointments through a virtual reception and waiting room.
Virtual Clinical Services have the capabilities to solve a myriad of problems faced by healthcare workers and organisations, from easing pressure at emergency departments by treating non-urgent or low-risk patients in community, to offering virtual clinician capacity management and credentialing to assist with resourcing issues.
Mackay Base Hospital in Queensland wanted to improve access to specialist care for rural and regional patients; Virtual Clinical Services has enabled it to achieve exactly that.
The new model has increased capacity leading to shorter waiting times for the same exceptional level of care, encouraging the best patient outcomes all round. The collaborative approach has proven to be cost-effective in comparison to locum arrangements and has also been truly valuable to those junior doctors present with patients during virtual consultations, who otherwise may not have exposure to specialists.
Through Virtual Clinical Services, patients at Mackay Base Hospital have benefitted from end-to-end care at the highest convenience for them, requiring them to travel less whilst ensuring greater access to the right consultants and specialists. Find out more about Virtual Clinical Services.
Our Virtual Health Monitoring solution enables healthcare providers to monitor patients in their own homes through a variety of ways including monitoring pulse and oxygen saturation with a SpO2 pulse oximeter, as well as temperature and blood pressure. The monitoring solution can also set information through an integrated Bluetooth device.
The technologies that comprise Virtual Health Monitoring allows patients to have their vital signs and symptoms monitored in their own home when connected to the MyCareManager patient app. This is particularly relevant for those affected by COVID-19 who need to have their vitals monitored whilst in isolation, thus protecting themselves and others who would otherwise have to monitor them in person.
Using Bluetooth, a patient’s vitals can be either manually entered or transmitted to the MyCareManager patient app which then transmits the data securely to a web-based portal within the hospital environment. Once safely transported, deteriorating conditions can be automatically flagged to a clinician, enabling clinicians to follow up with patients through a secure WebRTC and sip-based video call.
Our Virtual Health Monitoring solution can be used to monitor stable COVID-19 patients, or patients who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and can be used as a resource for freeing up capacity within hospitals for patients who are more critical.
Metro South Hospital & Health Service had a problem to solve. A growing ageing population and an increase in chronic health conditions meant the demand for acute beds was outstripping supply. The group required a new model of care that freed up acute beds but did not compromise the quality of care being delivered to patients.
Once Virtual Health Monitoring was implemented in 2019, it enabled Metro South Hospital & Health Service to monitor their hospital-in-the-home cohort more frequently and to do so through exceptional quality of care and from the comfort of a patient’s own home.
Increased virtual observations led to a richer dataset of each patient’s health journey, enabling healthcare workers to access real-time patient data and take a proactive approach in monitoring each patient’s health data. This ultimately led to better patient outcomes.
Metro South Hospital & Health Service have reported that Virtual Health Monitoring has increased clinical and operational efficiency by improving patient flow, reducing repeating presentations to emergency departments and shortening patient length of stay. The solution has enabled the group to be more efficient with resourcing, and, despite taking on more patients, has led to a cost reduction of $177.59 on each admission on average.
And it isn’t just the clinicians who have experienced the benefits of Virtual Health Monitoring; patient surveys have reported overwhelming satisfaction and comfort in using the solution with 97 per cent of patients describing Virtual Health Monitoring technology as ‘very easy’ or ‘easy’ to use, and 100 per cent of patients noting they are ‘very’ or ‘mostly’ satisfied with the overall service. This new type of care has not only led to efficiency, resourcing and cost savings for the group, but it has also empowered
patients to feel more engaged in their care. Find out more about Virtual Health Monitoring.
The NTCS is a nationwide telehealth platform which allows healthcare services to securely and reliably connect. This comprehensive solution provides video conferencing, secure clinical documentation sharing, enterprise messaging, booking and clinical coordination services as a single platform that can be integrated into existing systems at healthcare organisations.
Since its launch, the NTCS has proven to be particularly useful in supporting rural and remote regions that are often reliant on disparate and fragmented networks. Yet, as the spread of COVID-19 continues to alter the way healthcare has traditionally been delivered, the NTCS is a solution for supporting business continuity as we adapt to the pandemic by evolving the way healthcare is delivered.
This sophisticated solution connects clinicians directly to patients through a secure video-conferencing platform which incorporates Telstra’s robust security standards. Available on any web-enabled device, the NTCS is a great convenience for both patients and clinicians as it reduces the need for patients to travel to appointments which in turn can lower DNA (Do Not Attend) rates. Find out more about the NTCS here.