June 17, 2020

Healthdirect

Healthdirect

About the Healthdirect Video Call service

healthdirect Video Call is a comprehensive, secure and reliable video consulting service for healthcare in Australia. It is managed by Healthdirect Australia on behalf of the Australian Department of Health, WA Health, ACT Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

healthdirect Video Call was developed by Healthdirect Australia to make it easy for healthcare providers to offer their services to patients via video. Working with governments and PHNs, we aim to make telehealth an everyday part of a modern Australian health system.

The healthdirect Video Call service is a simple, scalable and sustainable model for enabling more convenient access to care for those who find it difficult to see a clinician in person. The technology that underpins the service is purpose-built for health settings, designed to create fully secure bespoke virtual clinics and waiting areas.

COVID-19 Video Call program for primary health care services

healthdirect Video Call is available to General Practices, Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) in Australia until 30 September 2020 under a special funding arrangement from the Australian Department of Health.

This funding provision enables telehealth as a whole-of-population model of care during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and wellbeing of practitioners and patients. If you are an AMS or ACCHS, please register your interest in a licence here.

Why is healthdirect Video Call different from other video consulting platforms?

Security and data governance

  • The healthdirect Video Call service follows the applicable Australian Government Information Security Manual for cyber security guidelines and safeguards privacy by leaving no digital footprint.
  • Other video consultation platforms store the details of the call, including the call recording, in central servers (usually outside Australia) accessible by the video service provider and may put clinicians at risk of breach of privacy legislation without informed patient consent.

Purpose built for health

  • The healthdirect Video Call technology is designed for patient to clinician consultation regardless of size of the organisation, meaning it mirrors a visit to a physical clinic, making it easy to adopt by patients, clinicians and administrators.
  • Other video consultation platforms are designed as social tools or business to business tools. This means the ease of use of the technology for a clinical workflow is limited, potentially resulting in risk or impact on the provider's duty of care to the patient.

Benefits for clinicians

  • Efficiency: Video consultations can be a part of a practice's usual workflow as an extension of day-to-day clinical practice
  • Flexibility: Work from any location where there is a good internet connection, including from home in the after-hours period
  • Cost: Save travel costs and the cost of rooms and clinic space when working remotely
  • Coverage: Ability to offer services to a wider network of patients

Health benefits for patients

There are many benefits for patients, particularly those who may have to travel long distances to see a medical practitioner or have other mobility restrictions.

  • Access: Provides access to quality healthcare for all people living in Australia, regardless of where they live
  • Continuity of care: Outpatient follow-up appointments can be maintained with more consistency due to convenient and simple access to clinicians
  • Holistic health: Local health professionals, such as a nurse, Aboriginal health worker or GP, can be with the patient on the call and can check blood pressure, read through test results or ask the specialist questions
  • Confidence: Reliable, secure system built for health consultations

If you are interested in more information regarding the healthdirect Video Call service, please contact [email protected].

How Video Call works

The healthdirect Video Call service was purpose-built for use in a health setting with features designed to make it a simple experience for patients and clinicians, as well as enhance the clinical information that can be gathered during the consultation.

The experience for both clinician and patient is designed to follow the process of attending a traditional appointment – patients check in to announce their arrival, wait in a virtual waiting room for the clinician and then the consultation begins when the clinician joins them.

healthdirect Video Call includes a multi-way video consulting capability, making it easy to include health specialists, translators and family members who are in other locations.

Clinicians, patients and other participants can access Video Call on any modern device and internet browser. It is a wholly secure environment which leaves no digital footprint from any participants.

The Healthdirect Australia support team works with each healthcare organisation to integrate the service into its existing systems to maintain coordinated management of patient flow.