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In response to COVID-19, SCHN is utilising alternative approaches such as Telehealth for delivering care.
Temporary MBS Telehealth and telephone items are available to support the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). These items have been extended until 31 March 2021.
Fact sheets with further information on these items can be found at the MBS temporary telehealth services page.
A factsheet is also available with further information on the additional 10 MBS Mental Health Sessions page.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a way for healthcare providers, patients and carers to access and manage care virtually. It uses technology to connect people in different locations.
Attending a consultation using telehealth may save time and money for patients who would otherwise travel to the appointment, and it may also be more efficient for you as the clinician. It also enables patients to access care during a time of disruption or crisis (such as the COVID-19 pandemic).
Setting up the consultation
Ensure your patient has received:
- A telehealth appointment letter, providing information about how to connect
- Patient/Family user guide
It is recommended that a test call is conducted with the patient prior to the appointment to identify and resolve any connection issues.
SCHN Telehealth platforms
- myVirtualCare (new clinician to patient consultation platform)
- Skype for Business
Other platforms should only be used after trying the above. They are not supported with assistance and many are not recommended for patient consultations.
The Pexip platform requires either a PC with a webcam connected or a laptop with camera and microphone enabled. Families can connect using a PC with webcam, laptop, iPad or smartphone.
- To use Pexip, you will need a Virtual Meeting Room (VMR) number.
- Please submit departmental requests for a Pexip VMR number via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- VMRs can be shared amongst departments and each individual staff member doesn’t necessarily require their own VMR.
- Departments are encouraged to develop internal processes to review the number of existing VMRs and ensure where they are shared they aren’t used at the same time.
- See Learning.kids for instructions for staff, patients and families on using Pexip
eHealth NSW provides a support line to assist with Pexip troubleshooting:
- Support for NSW Health Staff: 1300 679 727
Pexip troubleshooting and tips
Here's a list of common problems and first-fix solutions.
Problems during a consultation?
Make sure that both you and your patient/family/end user are using Chrome web browser for PC or Android devices, and Safari browser on iPhones.
Trouble with sound or video?
- Adjust your settings or ask the participant to adjust theirs if problem persists.
- Close all other applications that are open on the device.
Echo and high pitched sounds?
- If using an inbuilt speaker, try a headset.
- Keep the microphone muted while not talking, unmute when required.
Refer to the Pexip troubleshooting guide: https://learning.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/troublshooting-pexip
How to change your screen display options
When you have multiple attendees and want your patient or a particular person to be in the main view you can “spotlight” them so that they will appear in the main window regardless of who is speaking.
- Further instructions on how to change your screen layout are attached in the eHealth-NSW Pexip factsheet.
Can’t connect using Pexip Infinity Connect mobile application?
Check that VMR has @conference.meet.health.gov.au typed immediately after it e.g. email@example.com.
Still having issues?
Staff can call the eHealth helpline on 1300 679 727 at the time of the incident. It’s much more difficult to replicate a scenario, diagnose and trouble shoot issues after the telehealth session has ended.
The myVirtualCare platform is a new web-based browser platform designed for clinician to patient consultations. Families can connect using a PC with webcam, laptop, iPad or smartphone.
- The platform is secure and is supported by the eHealth support line 1300 679 727
- To use myVirtualCare, you will need a virtual waiting room to be set up for your department.
- If you are interested in finding out more about myVirtualCare please contact Joeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Telehealth Capability Interest Group (TCIG) is a community of practice that aims to share telehealth initiatives and supports clinicians to increase the use of telehealth into their clinical practice.
Sessions are held every Thursday from 1-2pm. The main aim of these free sessions is to provide core telehealth information and support to clinicians to effectively integrate telehealth as a part of their clinical practice.
Register for this week’s session.
Resources for staff
- Telehealth COVID-19 Guide
- SCHN Telehealth appointment letter template
- SCHN Telehealth billing flowchart
- SCHN Learning.kids Telehealth Pexip Quick Guides
- Rooms available for conducting Telehealth sessions
- WSLHD Interpreter Service booking form
- ACI Telehealth Pexip User Training details
- ACI Telehealth Resources
- ACI Telehealth information for patients and families (including video tutorial)
- HETI COVID-19 Virtual Environments: General tips for effective virtual facilitation and tips for hosting a virtual meeting
- Digital Health Co-operative Research Centre (DHCRC): National resources covering governance and legality, COVID-19 telehealth resources, information for both clinicians/providers and health consumers and tips on choosing technology.