Kyabram District Health Service joins the Hume Health Services Partnership pilot to provide virtual medical care to acute ward patients on weekends.
From Friday 6 October 2023, Kyabram District Healthcare Service (KDHS) will introduce Telecare – a virtual doctor/telemedicine service – to ensure the ongoing provision of high-quality and safe care to the community.
KDHS will introduce Telecare on weekends (Friday-Sunday) in the acute ward to provide an additional option for medical cover in response to a shortage of qualified and appropriately skilled healthcare workers across rural Victoria.
The specialist doctor will be present during a virtual ward round with support from a KDHS nurse who can contact the doctor via telephone or online at any time. Where possible, KDHS will also have a Locum Medical Officer on-site and on-call on weekends.
During a virtual video call Telecare consultation, patients will receive:
clinical assessment and admission
follow up medical advice and treatment
any necessary referrals to appropriate services for ongoing management
The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) will continue to cover the KDHS Urgent Care Centre on weekends. If any patients require local admission to KDHS on a weekend, the VVED doctor will hand over to the Telecare doctor or Locum Medical Officer.
The announcement comes as the Victorian Government continues to encourage health services to implement and upscale virtual care in response to state-wide healthcare workforce shortages.
KDHS Acting CEO Jon Laughlin said the decision to join the pilot will ensure the healthcare needs of the community continue to be met and that patients should expect a level of care consistent with the same quality standards as in-person services.
“We always strive to ensure our community has access to the care they need as close to home as possible. The Telecare service provides the opportunity for medical specialists to give high-quality healthcare to rural communities like ours,” he said.
KDHS Director of Medical Services Dr Ka Chun Tse said the Telecare service is one of Australia’s largest telehealth providers and its introduction follows a successful pilot at NCN Health.
“NCN Health introduced Telecare last year and has successfully treated hundreds of patients with very positive feedback and no complaints, which has led to the model being sustained.
“As a rural health service, we already use digital technology to provide timely and quality care. We were the first health service in the Hume region to introduce the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) within the Urgent Care Centre to provide people with access to highly skilled emergency medical teams via video call. Telecare will bolster our capability to ensure the local community gets the safe, high-quality care they need, when they need it.”
KDHS acute ward staff will be trained in using Telecare, ensuring patients receive a level of care consistent with the same quality standards as in-person services.
KDHS Acting CEO Jon Laughlin said, “We look forward to rolling out Telecare to support our healthcare workers and provide local communities with the care they deserve now and into the future. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to keep patients and the community updated via newsletters, local media and social media.”
For more information on Telecare, visit www.telecare.com.au