Roundup: Queensland virtual ED now available statewide and more briefs

Queensland expands virtual ED service statewide

Queensland Hospital and Health Services is expanding access to the Virtual Emergency Department service to all individuals in the state.

The telehealth service, which was developed and launched by Metro North Health during the height of the pandemic in 2020, is being made available for all Queenslanders needing urgent non-life threatening care. 

According to a media release, the expanded service will be run by senior ED staff with GPs and QAS staff. 

24/7 tele-stroke service in Western Australia targeted for next year

The Department of Health Western Australia’s tele-stroke service is entering its second phase of implementation with a plan to transition to a 24/7 service.

Approximately a year after it was launched, the service provided real-time stroke specialist care via telemedicine to more than 300 individuals. 

It has seen a “significant” uptake in the South West and Great Southern regions with over half of all referrals coming from these areas, the WA government said in a statement.

“Stroke is a time-critical medical emergency and patient outcomes are improved by timely access to specialist clinical diagnosis and management. The Tele-stroke service will enable clinicians across WA access to centralised consultant advice, neurological imaging advice, expedited treatment pathways and timely clinical documentation,” said WA Stroke director Dr Andrew Wesseldine.

Healius turns to cloud-based contact centre platform

ASX-listed pathology service provider Healius is replacing its range of old telephony and contact centre technologies with an integrated, cloud-based solution by RingCentral. 

The company recently signed a five-year contract with the US-based business communications solutions provider to improve doctor and patient experience in its pathology and diagnostic imaging practices. It will also deliver analytics and insights to drive workforce and operational efficiency.

This contract comes with the provision of devices and services, 500,000 toll-free calling minutes per month, e-fax functionality to all numbers, and a single service desk to streamline communications management.

The RingCentral platform will be integrated with Microsoft Teams, and other business applications used by Healius. 

Additionally, RingCentral has also committed to maintaining the security and privacy of all customer content, including the content of calls, facsimiles, voicemails, voice recordings, shared files, conferences, webchat, email or other communications transmitted or stored through the RingCentral services, with the data retained and only accessed within Australia.

The deployment of RingCentral’s platform in all 260 Healius sites across Australia is expected to be completed by early next year.

North Shore Hospital installs check-in kiosk for outpatients

The North Shore Hospital in Auckland is the latest public hospital in New Zealand to implement a touch screen check-in kiosk for outpatients.

The implementation is part of the greater rollout of the technology to enhance patient experience across hospitals and health services under Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand. It helps people move around, reducing any potential queuing in reception areas.

Patients can scan in with QR codes provided on the appointment letters that have been either posted or emailed to them. 

According to Te Whatu Ora Waitematā, the second and third installations will follow soon at North Shore and Waitakere Hospital, which both receive around 20,000 outpatient visits monthly.

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