The COVID-19 public health emergency has sparked unprecedented demand for virtual care services across NSW. We are digitally empowering citizens to access health services in the comfort of their home to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread in the community via myVirtualCare.
With myVirtualCare, clinicians are now able to schedule, assess and manage their patients through an online platform to streamline out-of-hospital, or in-home care via any internet-enabled device in the community. It allows patients to access their clinician wherever most convenient. myVirtualCare closely mimics the physical experience of seeing a doctor in a clinic environment – but instead of a real waiting room, they arrive in a virtual one and are invited into a meeting room by their clinician.
eHealth NSW’s videoconferencing services are also supporting online interpreting to assist patients with limited English as well as patients who are deaf. Local Health Districts are using the system to continue running virtual antenatal classes to offer support for expectant parents, virtual play clinics for young patients in palliative care and occupational therapy appointments for children and their families as well as in many other departments including neurology, cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, nephrology, genetics and child development. Patients have embraced virtual healthcare to connect with their clinicians and stay connected with friends and family members.
In 2021, NSW Health launched the Virtual Care Accelerator, to ensure patients have full access to the best that telehealth-enabled models of care and remote monitoring have to offer – both during the acute response to COVID-19 and beyond. NSW Health has a strong track record of innovating in the virtual care space, with many local health districts having run successful programs for well over a decade. Building on these initiatives and those rolled out in response to COVID-19, eHealth NSW and key partners will focus over the next 12 months on embedding system-wide, high-value models of virtual care.
“What COVID-19 has done, …has proven beyond a doubt the value of virtual care. We want to build on this foundation to ensure it continues to improve outcomes for patients and families. We want to enable our system to utilise advances in technology which will support our clinicians to develop models of care that support the challenges we face as a health system. It’s all about ensuring we truly place patients at the centre of care.” - Dr Shannon Nott, Clinical Director of the Virtual Care Accelerator.