The pandemic is inspiring a grand embrace of telemedicine | Wbactive

“Ongoing telemedicine has been locked into our healthcare system for both GP and non-GP specialty services,” said Dr. Khorshid last year when the federal government announced that telemedicine would be permanently funded by Medicare. “This will ensure that Australia’s healthcare system continues to be one of the fairest and most effective systems in the world.”

Whether treating patients across town or across the country, healthcare providers have found that relying on basic video conferencing tools presents myriad challenges.

These range from the lack of a virtual waiting room and access to administrative staff, to the lack of integration with patient care platforms, online payment systems and other workflows.

Extending telemedicine to “hybrid care” that combines the best of virtual and in-person experiences across the continuum of care is key to improving efficiency, capacity and patient outcomes, says Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of Australian telemedicine technology provider Coviu.

“Hybrid care is about digital transformation and breaking down silos to bring everything together and ensure that all types of healthcare providers can provide the best care, regardless of where their patients are and how they reach them.”

Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of Coviu

Coviu, which grew out of a small Australian CSIRO spinout that handles around 400 telemedicine consultations per day, now averages more than 14,000 telemedicine consultations per day and supports almost a quarter of all Australian doctors.

The Coviu team has grown fivefold in the last two years and plans to double its headcount again over the next 12 months as it aims for international growth, with the platform already being used by more than 90,000 clinicians worldwide.

Recognizing the challenges healthcare providers face in treating patients remotely, Coviu is expanding its product offering from video telemedicine to an all-in-one platform for virtual care, offering full hybrid care to improve patient outcomes Improving patients beyond the pandemic.

Telemedicine needs to be an integrated solution with benefits for everyone involved, rather than just doing another standalone thing that “is a headache for everyone involved,” says Pfeiffer.

“Healthcare providers are understandably saying that they don’t need to deal with yet another system, so hybrid care needs to be about delivering a holistic, integrated experience, not more fragmentation,” she says.

“This includes not only integration with other IT systems that healthcare professionals rely on, but also integration with an increasing number of diagnostic tools, enabling healthcare professionals to provide improved levels of care and measurable outcomes.”

Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of Australian telemedicine technology provider Coviu. coviu

To address some of the logistical challenges of delivering telemedicine, Coviu’s platform includes features like a virtual waiting room and online billing. It also integrates with digital tools such as The Clinician’s ZEDOC digital pathway application, as well as standardized Pearson assessments.

At the same time, Coviu’s platform supports Propell’s iHealth mobile healthcare devices for remote patient monitoring, such as pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors and digital thermometers. The platform also integrates with 2M Lingo’s on-demand interpreting services.

Even after the trials of the pandemic, the majority of GPs prefer to offer telemedicine over the phone rather than video. Instead of forcing GPs and their patients to switch when some patients may not have the devices to support video, Coviu added support for phone calls.

Telemedicine has integrated into all primary care professions, including allied health, and is becoming part of the new normal. Providing patients and physicians with a superior experience using technology will be a critical factor in the quality of telemedicine care and patient outcomes, Pfeiffer said.

“Only 20 percent of telemedicine consultations that GPs do use video, compared to around 80 percent for specialists and allied healthcare providers,” she says. “That’s fine, because the concept of hybrid care is much more than just providing video connectivity.

“Hybrid care is about digital transformation and breaking down silos to bring everything together and ensure that all types of healthcare providers can provide the best care, regardless of where their patients are and how they reach them.”

To learn more, visit www.coviu.com.

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