7th July, 2020
MELBOURNE IS ON STAGE - 3 RESTRICTION LOCKDOWN AGAIN.
As we have done in March earlier this year, we have had to take added precautions to protect our patients and staff again. We have reverted to screening all patients on the phone again, and encourage all of our regular / new patients to book a tele-consult as a first point of call.
What is Telehealth / a Teleconsult / Video-consult?
Telehealth refers to “healthcare delivery or related activities (such as education), when participants are separated by distance, and communication technologies are used” (Health.Vic). For us, this includes phone calls & video conferencing. This has been part of the way doctor’s have worked for many years, however we have had to push this further given the recent COVID-19 scenario.
What are the Benefits of Telehealth?
Telehealth can be more convenient, especially for those who live far away from our clinic, or aren’t able to take time off from work/ university /caring for others to come into the clinic, or those who have physical problems affecting their mobility. In the current crises - it is also a vital part in preventing needless exposure to COVID - especially for those patients who have other underlying health problems or are in the “at-risk” groups.
Why can’t I just see my doctor in person?
From our experience during the past 4 months, we have found that 30% - 40% of patients have needed to be seen face to face for issues which we could not deal with over the phone. We encourage you to book a tele-consult first, and if the Doctor deems it necessary, they will arrange for you to come in to the practice in a safe manner. We have minimised the number of people entering / leaving our practice during this lock down. Our doors will be locked - but we are still open and are letting people through by prior arrangement. You can book in online - or ring our reception staff to enquire further.
If you feel that you need to have direct contact with one of our doctors, give us a call and we will help determine what is the best course of action for you.
What can I do to prepare for my tele-health appointment?
Firstly, remember that you have the appointment and keep your phone with you. When booking the appointment, check your contact details are up to date (Phone number and email address). Please specify at the time of booking if you prefer a video or a telephone consultation. Keep your phone with you at the time of your expected appointment, and remember that our Doctors may call you from a private number. Please ensure that you have good phone / internet reception, and that the surroundings are quiet. Overall, we have had some extremely good feedback about Tele-health so far, and patients have been very receptive towards it.
How do Video Consultations work?
We are using new software from the company at GP Consults. Your selected Doctor will send a text message through to your phone at the time of your appointment. There will be a relevant link to click within this, which when used will open up a new web browser window from where the consultation will be carried out. Click here for more detailed information. You must have a phone with video and internet capabilities to use this.