Setting up the technology for telehealth

Chances are, you won’t be starting from scratch. Your practice or hospital is probably already using an electronic record management system that is integrated with appointment booking software.

Aim to integrate telehealth into your existing workflows – this could cover anything from recording a new patient, booking appointments, coding diagnoses, to arranging referrals and managing results and recalls.

We propose six steps for you to:
a) start integrating telehealth into your day to day practice, and/or
b) use an established telehealth platform to host other digital health technology, for seamless care to your patients or clients.

Step 1: Check internet coverage and speed: For video conferencing you will need a minimum upload speed of 1-4 Mbps, but ideally, you should have at least 5 Mbps upload and 15 Mbps download speeds.

Step 2: Turn on existing telehealth functions: Check with your current clinic management and appointment booking software providers to find out what telehealth functions are integrated into your current system – for example, is there a video-consultation function that can be activated?

Step 3: Compare your current hardware and software set up against this useful checklist of hardware, software, and promotion to clients (by Health Vital IT) including setting up the electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP).

Step 4: Plan and continuously review your workflow, keeping in mind the same professional, safety, quality, and privacy standards as a face-to-face consult. (During the transition, use phone or video conference tools for their purpose only. Store and transfer all medical records and written communications in the same way as you do for face-to-face transactions).

Step 5: Arrange remote access if you work off-site: If you plan to work off-site, check with your practice manager or IT team to see if it is possible to have remote access to your practice workstation so that you can continue to operate consistently with your standard workflows.

Step 6: Explore a more permanent solution for your workplace once you are clear on the purpose of bringing in new technology. Check out this ‘Choosing software’ guide and checklists.

Important! Back up your practice’s data: Health Vital IT resource / RACGP guide

Risk management and troubleshooting

nbn telehealth video conferencing connectivity guide: download this interactive PDF to help you troubleshoot connection issues you may have when delivering a telehealth consultation over the nbn network.

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. ACRRM advice on risk management when using video conferencing software for clinical video consultations.

eSafety Commissioner. Australian Government.

The NZ Telehealth Forum and Resource Centre has listed their top 10 security tips to ensure your devices and network at work and home are secure.

Internet speed test

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