Telehealth Hub

7th July 2023 | Back to News
Telehealth Hub
The new Telehealth hub

Three Rivers Medical has introduced the Telehealth Hub as a means of reducing the wait times for patients wanting a GP appointment.

“Our Telehealth Hub phone triage service will help us identify and meet patient needs in the most efficient way and work out if those needs require a face-to-face consult,” Dr Fergus Aitcheson

The Telehealth Hub is a phone triage service where a patient will be called back promptly by a GP or nurse.

It is designed so that face-to-face GP appointments can be given to patients with the greater need and those things that can be dealt with over the phone will be done so.

The Telehealth Hub is a phone service staffed by two GPs and a nurse in the mornings and one GP and two nurses in the afternoons.

Typically our call volumes are particularly high on Monday and Tuesday mornings so we’re rostering on two doctors for the morning shifts. The reception team now has the ability to put people through to be triaged by the clinicians who will then call you back.

Since we started offering the new phone triage service we are already noticing fewer of the routine GP appointments are being taken up with the stuff that could be dealt with over the phone.

Telehealth Hub is already making a noticeable difference with median appointment wait times of 11 – 16 days. This is good in relation to the rest of the country where people can wait 4 – 6 weeks on average to see a GP.

The Telehealth Hub is a way for us to meet as many needs as possible in the most time efficient way. 

“We are trying to identify the patients whose needs are best met by seeing a highly trained GP specialist,” says Dr. Fergus Aitcheson.

“But there are a of other identified primary health care needs that don’t need that level of skill for example - repeat prescriptions.

“By taking a GP off the floor to man the phones, we are hoping it will help reduce the need to for face-to-face appointments and improve efficiency within the practice. It should have a positive ripple effect on the rest of the facility and help it run more smoothly.”

“It’s about using our GP and nursing resources in the best possible way.
“We will continue to do our best with the resources we have and plan on reviewing the Telehealth Hub service regularly.”

Nurse clinics to support Telehealth Hub Nurse practitioner Georgie Beard has helped develop and support the nurse clinics that have been initiated to support the Telehealth Hub.
The Telehealth Hub triage all of the acute patient phone calls and either treat over the phone or allocate an appropriate appointment with the Q-Doc or Q-

The Q-Nurse clinic has been set up to see patients on the same day and is booked by the Telehealth Hub.

Georgie has enjoyed supporting the education the nurses as well as seeing all of the young children coming through the Q-Nurse clinics.

“It has also meant that the patients that need to be seen are able to get an appointment, which is great, “ she says.
“I think that it is working well so far . Phone calls are being done in a much more timely manner and we are treating more patients via telehealth. This also
suits many of our patients who prefer telehealth versus face to face appointments.

“Prior to the Telehealth Hub, it was a challenge for nurses on the floor to keep on top of these calls,  now their time has a far better flow on the floor. I also think that the Q-Nurse clinics are working well, they give a more structured flow to patients coming in and makes offering an appointment easier.”

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