Recent trends in legislation show that the Australian government is starting to offer greater reimbursements for telehealth in rural areas. As a result, demand for telehealth services is increasing, offering a new income stream for GPs. Adopting this technology allows clinicians to fight off online competition and provide patients with continuity of care. However, it is only natural that you may have questions about how to effectively incorporate it into your practice.
Holding sessions over Skype is not a viable, professional option, as private patient data is not protected. It also lacks the clinical tools Coviu enjoys such as a shared whiteboard feature, high-quality sharing of documents or images, custom branded digital consultation rooms and online waiting rooms.
On the other hand, using a telephone for checking in with patients does not allow GPs to charge for the session, resulting in a missed income opportunity. Additionally, vital non-verbal communication is not possible through this medium, and both the patient and medical professional run the risk of missing important details that may drastically affect the individual’s health outcome.
So what CAN you use?
Coviu is the simple solution that is easy to set up, affordable, and will help your practice thrive with telemedicine. Built specifically for healthcare providers, our video consultation software is browser-based and developed on the latest video technology called WebRTC. This ensures patient data is secure and only stored in the browser for the duration of the call.
Coviu’s features allow for collaborative calls with your patient’s specialists or allied healthcare professionals.
GPs are the first contact point patients choose to get access to health care. So GPs have a multitude of opportunities to take advantage of video visits.
The first is to undertake video visits with their own patients. Video visits reduce travel time for both GPs and patients and allow after-hours calls to be held easily – with appropriate invoicing. GPs can hold sessions from their office, or the comfort of their own home and patients can receive swift care from their home or workplace including referrals to specialists or allied healthcare professionals, medical certificates and prescriptions.
Secondly, GPs can be the go-between for their patients and other clinicians, including allied health and medical specialists. This is particularly important in rural areas, as patients often have to travel many hours to get to an allied health provider or specialist. Incidentally, Australian Medicare already provides MBS codes for dual care consultations – that’s consultations of a patient sitting with their GP meeting a specialist via video.
Coviu software is easy to use and requires simply a webcam, microphone and speaker which is built into mobile phones and most modern laptops already have Webcams built in. Check out our additional hardware article for ideas on how to maximise your Coviu experience. You will also need to ensure you have sufficient internet connection and bandwidth to host these video consults.
Change is coming, and telehealth is the next step for rural and remote Australian GPs. For a step by step guide on how to implement Coviu into your practice, check out this article. To claim your free trial, click here.