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RACGP releases practical telehealth flowchart guide


Matt Woodley


8/04/2020 2:36:31 PM

The new resource is designed to assist GPs grappling with issues presented by the rapid rollout of telehealth.

GP on the phone sitting at her desk.
The rapid institution of telehealth has given GPs an entirely different set of workflows to navigate when consulting with patients.

Aside from providing practical steps GPs can take when setting up a practice for telehealth, the guide also details what is required before, during and after telephone and video consultations.
 
The information is presented in the form of two flowcharts and Dr Rob Hosking, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Practice Technology and Management (REC–PTM), told newsGP the recently produced document is invaluable for all GPs, regardless of their telehealth experience.
 
‘They’re very useful for people who are wanting to follow a process and make sure they’re not missing something in the way they’re handling telephone and video consultations,’ he said.
 
‘Most people are already doing telehealth consultations, but they might want to refer to these flowcharts to see whether they are doing it to the best of their ability and not missing anything.
 
‘We’re all learning as we go along with this rapid implementation of telehealth. This was supposed to be something that we thought would happen gradually over a fair period of time and it’s happened in a couple of weeks.’
 
Since being introduced less than a month ago, Australia’s telehealth landscape has changed multiple times, in particular with regard to billing and who is eligible to access the service. There has also been a push from within general practice to ensure high standards of clinical care are maintained during the transition to high-volume telehealth consultations.
 
Dr Hosking said the step-by-step nature of the guide would help GPs appropriately navigate these complicating factors.
 
‘It’s changing [nearly] every day – how it’s being billed and the various platforms that are going to be used,’ Dr Hosking said.
 
‘We always try to work on improving our consulting skills in face-to-face consultations, and now we can do the same with this remote, audio and video technology.
 
‘How are we going to assess people? When do we make a call that they need to be seen? Have we assessed their privacy adequately?
 
‘It’s a whole new workflow that has to be thought about with every consultation.’
 
The RACGP is also developing additional, complementary telehealth resources to support GPs, including a specific resource for providing video consultations to patients with suspected COVID-19, and a resource for patients with information and support about seeing their regular GP via telephone or video.

The Telephone and video consultations in general practice: Flowcharts guide can be accessed here.
 
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Dr Lara Mihaljevic   9/04/2020 7:36:56 AM

How do we access the flow chart