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5 August 2020
COVID-19 continues to impact our lives in a number of ways including how we access healthcare.
Our Specialist Clinics team handle approximately 26,000 appointments each month and right now between 70-80% of these appointments are being done using telehealth.
Telehealth, which involves speaking to healthcare staff over the phone or via video, is playing a key role in ensuring we can continue to care for patients and a telehealth ‘hub’ has now been set to create a dedicated space for clinicians making phone and video calls.
“We launched the new ‘Telehealth Hub’ in late July which gives us a space that allows our clinicians to run telehealth sessions at the same time in a safe and suitable environment,” Lynette Reid- Price, Austin Health’s Divisional Manager, Specialist Clinics, said.
“Holding appointments using telehealth is helping to keep patients and our staff safe and the team has been very appreciative of the way the community has embraced being cared for in a different way.
“Our Telehealth Hub has been fitted out specifically so that clinicians can speak to patients in the most suitable environment.
“There are partitions in place to ensure privacy and up to 21 clinicians can be in the space at the same time,” she said.
“For some people, telehealth consultations might feel a bit strange at first but the feedback we have had from patients has been very positive.
Lynnette said patients having a phone consultation should expect to get a call from a private number around their appointment time.
“We are running telehealth consultations at the same time the physical clinics would typically run each week so the disruption to patients is minimised.
“The hub will be a key part of the care provided through Specialist Clinics in the short term as we adapt the way we provide care in response to COVID,” Lynnette said.
“We’re really grateful for the cooperation and understanding of patients and their families as we respond to the challenges that COVID-19 presents.