Telehealth now permanent. Are you ready?
The Australian Government has just allocated $106 million to make telehealth a permanent reality in the primary healthcare system. So how ready is your practice to embrace the change? It means an irreversible shift for you as a doctor, and we thought today was a good time to speak with one of Australia’s key players in telehealth: Dr Silvia Pfeiffer.
Telehealth now permanent. Are you ready?
December 13, 2021
Dr Pfeiffer: Happy that telehealth is here to stay
coviu telehealth CEO
Coviu is the Australian Government’s chosen partner to provide a reliable telehealth platform for GPs, specialists and allied health. While the focus is on the funding and Medicare numbers, we thought the time was right to look at the shift this has initiated, a profound reform of the way doctors and patients interact.
Whatever your position so far on the topic of seeing patients on a small or larger screen, it’s worth listening to Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO and co-founder of Coviu, rapidly becoming the reference in telehealth software solutions.
As Dr Pfeiffer explains, Coviu’s story has been more than just luck and good timing. The platform offers security, connection with the Australian Medicare system, payment options, a waiting room and integrated solutions for wound care programs.
How ready is your practice for telehealth?
Will telehealth work well with my booking system?
coviu telehealth integration
The Coviu telehealth platform offers plenty of resources on integration with your practice management and booking systems.
If you are operating in Australia, booking systems such as HealthEngine work seamlessly with the Coviu telehealth system. It means that your patient gets a smooth experience, from booking the consultation all the way through to entering your virtual waiting room, before their one-on-one time with you starts in the secure Coviu environment.
Quite often, making systems work together can be a bit daunting, and it’s good to scan the current market for what is already working. In this case, HealthEngine and Coviu have done their homework together and you should be good to go with an integrated solution.
The risks of using other tools for telehealth
The plumber’s solution often works in life but is not recommended in healthcare. The risks of using insecure tools have been highlighted well in mainstream media. In your private practice, they can take a nasty turn if a data breach occurs.
The small print and user agreements of mainstream tools such as WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime are not designed for healthcare. There are no paragraphs on how a data breach in the medical realm will be handled. There are also no mechanisms in place to include compliant patient consent procedures at the start of a consultation. Fair enough, these tools were designed to show our new bike to a friend, the new couch to a cousin, or the new baby to the rest of the family.
Moreover, some of these platforms explicitly tell you that they will occasionally share some of the data you provide as part of the user agreement, to third parties. With patient information, that is never a good idea.
The need for dedicated telehealth platforms has been very real in the last two years: A secure waiting room system, built-in payment gateways, built-in features to communicate with the Government’s medical systems, or things like bringing in a translator for the consultation within minutes.
In Australia: Free for general practitioners
free coviu telehealth account
General practitioners under the Australian Healthdirect umbrella already have free access to Coviu Telehealth since before the pandemic. In origin, the first trials involved drought-affected communities, offering mental health support from their family practitioner via Coviu Telehealth technology, provided they had been to that practice at least once before.
The rest is history. We know that Coviu became a household brand for the entire healthcare industry in Australia in 2020 and with the announcement of permanent telehealth arrangements has paved the way for an entirely new view on medical consultations.
Starting the journey?
Are you about to transform your practice? Are you starting out in private practice? Book a free consultation to discuss the digital setup for your practice. You can take a look at Coviu’s website for all things telehealth, or book a consultation with us to define a general digital strategy that includes brand positioning, online visibility and lead generation.