Reinvigorating out-patient remote consults
There is considerable opportunity for telehealth services to enable Hauora Tairãwhiti to deliver improved health equity outcomes to its population. The COVID-19 lockdowns, demonstrated the ability to rapidly “scale-up” and expand given the necessary impetus, and since the move to COVID-19 alert level 1, the number of remote appointments has been in steady decline.
A review of the consultations appointment administration processes, space and technology requirements for Community Care, Outpatient and Tui te Ora appointments will be undertaken, to ensure telehealth appointments can be managed as easily as and interchangeably with, conventional appointments.
This will be undertaken by examining and documenting the existing community care appointment administration processes from the perspectives of the patients, specialists and administrative staff and overlaying the required triage and administration processes for remote consultations to be offered or requested.
The service design work for remote consultations will need to consider patients’ preferences, capability and equity considerations for Zoom/MS Teams type calls vs phone calls.
Process modification or redesign can then be attempted to improve the user experience, reduce effort and risks of service disruption. This will also identify any new or changes to technology (to feed into the technology requirements plan), facilities, and communications to staff, providers and patients.
If possible, and subject to provider and stakeholder acceptance and technology availability, the revised processes should be trialled within a community care discipline (to be decided during the process design work)
These process designs will then be transposed for use against Outpatient and Tui te Ora appointments, adapted as required to meet the specific clinical requirements of each service.