Stay Connected with Telehealth
COVID-19 presented the risk that services supporting Australians with chronic health conditions, may become less accessible or even collapse, potentially disrupting the primary care of a significant number of vulnerable people.
WA Primary Health Alliance partnered with ConnectGroups, a peak consumer body which promotes peer support and consumer empowerment, to develop Stay Connected with Telehealth, a three month program to raise awareness, educate and increase the use of telehealth among people diagnosed with a chronic condition.
This program aimed to empower people with the confidence and capacity to request telehealth services from their GP, and ultimately ensure all Western Australians continued to have access to high-quality medical care.
Health consumers, carers and general practitioners came together to determine the barriers to accessing telehealth and to develop educational materials.
Post campaign indicated positive experiences engaging with telehealth.
The program’s results will be used to educate general practice teams on the patient and carer perspective of telehealth’s benefits, obstacles, and areas for improvement within general practice.
This program has also created a strong framework for future initiatives requiring extensive consumer and carer input, particularly among frequent users of the health system.
The majority of patients and carers reported positive experiences with the use of telehealth. The program enabled them to better understand telehealth and overwhelmingly, they felt supported, listened to and empowered.
“Telehealth was an essential part of accessing the care I needed during the time I felt it wasn’t COVID safe for me to either go out or go into my GP waiting rooms.” – Connect Groups participant
“It was very effective and in conjunction with some simple home equipment like a pulse oximeter and BP machine, everything I needed was covered.” - ConnectGroups participant