Following the successful implementation of telehealth during the COVID lockdown, Tū Ora Compass Health and Pinnacle have commissioned a business case to establish a centralised telehealth general practice service, primarily out of hours to improve access for patients.
The goal of this centralised service is to provide a more accessible and convenient service to patients by augmenting usual general practice telehealth care with video, telephone and secure messaging services at times when the usual GP team cannot meet demand (after hours in the first instance). The services currently being considered are:
A broader range of services are being considered as part of Phase 2 of the model.
The service is specifically designed to complement rather than to compete with GP services in local primary care networks. A critical aspect of the service model is that the GP will have access to the patient record thus preserving continuity of care. The service would be available only to those patients already enrolled in participating practices, and would not seek to compete to enrol patients into the service. It also becomes feasible for the service to provide ‘in hour’ services for those practices wanting short-term locum cover or as an ‘overflow’ service for in hours appointments. This is of particular interest to some rural practices. We have already canvassed patient views in the Midland region, with overwhelming support for such a service.
Many of you will be aware that the market for telehealth services has been exponential this year, with a number of new market entrants such as Tend and Bettr who are actively seeking an enrolment model as part of their telehealth offering. These consults are less than $49 all hours and have created a significant disruption to the traditional primary care model. These providers are currently looking to expand their service model nationally.
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