ACRRM Telehealth Support Advice

⇒ ACRRM generally recommends use of videoconferencing solutions which are standards based because, theoretically, such systems are better engineered to achieve practical interoperability between video conferencing products (including state based systems used by some specialists for non- admitted patients) and assure image quality and data security.

⇒ Not all clinicians or organisations are prepared to use or invest in such systems and are more prepared to use systems that they are familiar with such as FaceTime, Skype etc..

⇒ The Department of Health emphasises that the decision to use, or not to use, telehealth together with the choice of particular hardware or software methods for consultation should rest with the clinician. In making their choices, clinicians should consider any legal (privacy and security), safety and clinical effectiveness implications.

⇒ If you do choose to use a non-standards based solution then ACRRM emphasises that it is important to understand their limitations and take into consideration the content of the consultation. We recommend that you only use these solutions when you have an existing relationship with the Specialist (you know his/her credentials) and that decisions are based on expectations of improved patient care, and privacy and security issues are considered and informed consent is obtained. We also recommend that you use a telephone for the audio link (thus increasing security and maximising bandwidth available for video).

⇒ To learn more about video conferencing solutions please visit our Technology Directory which is a searchable database of various video conferencing equipment. If you are after a specific telehealth supported solution our list of Facilitated Solutions might be more useful to you. Please do not forget to register yourself and/or your practice on the Provider Directory to get more referrals and to be able to contact other specialists.

A step by step approach to establish Telehealth is:

1. Select a video conferencing solution or register with a Facilitated Solution. Once you select the solution you can either directly contact the vendor or download it, if web based.

2. Buy the right cameras, microphones etc. A list is available on our website ACRRM Technology Directory.

3. Identify the patients who may benefit from a telehealth consult and the list of consultants to whom they are referred.

4. Contact the specialist you want to refer the patient to. ACRRMs position is that telehealth best enhances, not replaces, visiting specialist services and existing referral arrangements where ever possible. We recommend that your practice contacts specialists with whom the patients have an ongoing relationship with. Where this is not possible then for new referrals you may look at the ACRRM Provider Directory or the directories included with many of the facilitated solutions

5. ACRRM can liaise with the specialist for you if you give us their names and contact details. We can assist them to become telehealth ready since both ends need to use the same or interoperable solutions to connect.

6. Set appointment with the specialist using your regular appointment scheduling process.

7. Select a private room to conduct the consult. We can provide you with advice about room set up etc. Telehealth tips

8. Get patient consent. Provide patients with information about telehealth and what it means to have a consult via a video conference. (Patient consent, FAQ and other forms available on our website under the Resources Tab)

9. After the consult you can bill Medicare separately and the specialist can do the same at their end.

10. Register on ACRRM Provider Directory as a telehealth enabled clinician to get ongoing referrals