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Sydney North signs up 60 RACFs for virtual care service using Health Teams

24 May 2023
By Kate McDonald

Sixty residential aged care facilities in northern Sydney have signed up to use a secure video consultation and remote vital signs monitoring system developed by local company Health Teams.

The program is being funded through a $1.1 million funding package from the federal government and provided by the local PHN, Sydney North Health Network (SNHN), with 60 out of 103 RACFs already signed up.

According to SNHN, the new RACF Virtual Care Service is intended to support non-urgent, routine and scheduled care for aged care residents with their healthcare providers.

It is using the Health Teams’ wellness monitoring solution, which allows resident vital signs to be collected automatically on a scheduled or on-demand basis by nurses.

It uses a range of digital devices such as stethoscopes and otoscopes, but also provides doctors with access to clinical notes within the telehealth screen, allowing them to create online referrals and scripts. They can also view clinical data and health summaries.

SNHN CEO Lynelle Hales said funding for the technology through SNHN will allow RACF residents to obtain improved access to primary healthcare, and help family members to experience a greater level of inclusion in their loved one’s health and wellbeing.

“We hope this service will transform residents’ experience of the primary health system,” Ms Hales said.

Funding will also assist in educating RACF staff and healthcare providers, such as GPs, on how to implement and deliver virtual care. SNHN staff will also be trained to provide educational support to RACFs when needed.

SNHN says supplementing face-to-face visits by healthcare providers through secure video consultations will enable RACF residents to access primary care providers and clinicians in optimal time.

Healthcare professionals will also benefit from reduced travel time and the implementation of remote vital signs monitoring can help healthcare providers to improve the management of residents’ chronic conditions, increase the capability for early intervention, and help reduce hospital admissions.

Residents’ families can also be involved through the Health Teams platform.

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