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The next wave of telehealth innovation

Telehealth has truly come to the fore amidst COVID-19, and what has accelerated is a new horizon of telemedical support in specialities. For one telemedicine provider, My Emergency Doctor (MED), telehealth as a speciality is their core business, well prior to COVID. Since 2016, they have been addressing challenges pervasive in the emergency department by extending the potential of telehealth in innovative ways.

Vital lifeline to a community for critical care cases

In the Critical Care Advisory Service (CCAS) of Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), emergency telemedicine is utilised in providing rapid access to specialist support for the most urgent of cases across its 29 regional, rural and remote multipurpose sites.

When a Category 1 or 2 case presents at any of MLHD’s sites, a priority call quickly connects to MED’s emergency specialist via video to a remote-controllable critical care overbed camera network with relay of any available patient information. Working alongside the doctors and nurses on the ground to assess the patient and develop a management plan, the remote emergency specialist helps identify appropriate investigations and if required discuss transfer requirements.

As a result, patients can often be better stabilised on-site before being transferred if necessary. This means better outcomes for patients while decreasing the time and resources needed in medical retrieval.

Rethinking telehealth for turnkey solution to resourcing surges in demand

My Emergency Doctor’s engagement within Australia’s community of healthcare indicated that one of the biggest challenges faced is pressure on emergency department staff during peak demand periods — or on the flip side, the pressure that arises from staff shortages due to sickness or attrition.

It’s an ongoing challenge and addressing it has required a re-imagining of telehealth application, one of which has been in the management of patients triaged for less urgent treatment.

Transitioning to a remote yet direct line of access to an emergency specialist doctor can provide an immediate raft of benefits, with knock-on effects to patients who receive more timely care, EDs that can care for more patients and supporting patient flow for the entire hospital or health network. 

To read the full article in The Health Advocate, please click here

For more information on how My Emergency Doctor helps prevent non-urgent presentations and manage patient flow in Emergency Departments across Australia, visit our Healthcare Institutions page.