Today marks two years since we officially introduced Telehealth video consultations, with our first patient consult delivered by the Geriatrics and Chronic Wound Telehealth Clinic.
The new climate, created by the COVID-19 pandemic, drove the rapid implementation of video consultations, helping keep our staff, patients, and community members safe while connecting them with the health services they need. This new service provided access to a wide-range of healthcare services for our patients; from maternity and children’s services to aged care, and everything in between.
During the past two years, our Telehealth video consultation service has enabled 34,955 patient consultations, provided by 989 staff across 63 patient Health Direct video call Telehealth clinics. This equated to 299,962 hours of video consultations within the two years, which is a tremendous achievement by our staff.
We also know there were multiple video consultations delivered on different platforms across Peninsula Health, not just through Health Direct, but also through therapy, education and support groups.
Our virtual Telehealth service has changed the lives of our community in ways we hadn’t foreseen prior to the pandemic. We have used the service to assist women in labour in need of an interpreter (e.g. sign-language); heled patients stuck interstate due to COVID-19 lockdowns, and helped reduce unnecessary presentations to our Emergency Department through the recent addition of our virtual ED, which has helped patients receive urgent medical consultations without the need to come into hospital.
Although COVID-19 restrictions have eased, there is still a strong demand for our Telehealth video consultations, which enables people to access the care they need from the comfort of their own home.
We are extremely proud of all our staff, particularly those in Telehealth services who have helped continue to provide patient-centred-care throughout the pandemic.