We often tell you about the amazing benefits telehealth offers you and your patients. However, we’ve not yet delved into an important aspect of telehealth – clinical appropriateness.
It is important for all telehealth providers to understand how to decide if a video consultation is appropriate for each specific case. This ensures the patient receives the highest and most effective level of care possible.
Coviu believes telehealth is intended to complement and facilitate in-person care, not replace it. That is why we provide our clinicians with every tool they need to facilitate their patient’s health journey online, following their initial surgery or physical check-up.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has recently published a guide to telehealth consultations, where they discuss parameters for determining clinical appropriateness.
Some of the main considerations include:
- Contraindications and patient preference.
- If a physical examination is critical for diagnosis and treatment.
- The circumstances surrounding the video consult. For example in a special situation or emergency, a video consult may be the best first step to seeing a distant specialist.
- If both patient and practitioner have the necessary skills to attend a video consultation.
- The patient must make an informed decision about proceeding with this service – such as being aware of the benefits and limitations, financial cost, and data privacy and security.
In many cases, a diagnosis can be made and test results can be given via video consultation. Coviu’s clinical tools such as referrals, scripts, practice-specific forms and sick notes allow for workflow efficiencies, and the consent form add-on ensures patients are making informed decisions about their video consult. In addition, Coviu is browser-based, meaning it’s super simple to use. Just click a link and both parties will be brought to the online clinic.
Taking these guidelines, and Coviu’s capabilities into account, we have created a list of use cases for video consultations. Check it out:
|Urgent care advice||– Child drinks household chemicals|
|Prescriptions (e-prescription sent to pharmacy)||– Blood pressure medication
– Birth control pills
|Medical Certificate (email/download)||– A sick student missing an exam|
|Referrals||– A patient needs to see a specialist|
|– Blood test results
– Sexually transmitted infection test results
|Skin Conditions (diagnosed and monitored)||– Acne
|Respiratory conditions||– Cold and flu advice
– Respiratory tract infection monitoring and treatment
|Musculoskeletal advice||– Sports injury
– Chronic back pain
|Eye conditions (diagnosed and treated)||– Conjunctivitis
|Digestive System (diagnosed and treated)||– Heartburn
– Urinary tract infections
|Sexual Health||– Sexually transmitted infections
– Erectile Dysfunction
|Addiction||– Quitting smoking
– Substance abuse
– Quitting drinking
|Mental Health (treatment or referrals)||– Depression
– Relationship issues
|Speech pathology||– Swallowing issues
– Speech disorders
|Physiotherapy||– Home rehabilitation|
|Nutritional advice||– Guidance from nutritionist|
|Other||– Travel medicine
– Hair loss treatment
– Give a second opinion
If you would like to know more about telehealth for your practice, click here.