Doing telehealth well
This page provides further information focusing on how telehealth consultations can be done, the broader applications of telehealth that go beyond a specialist GP-patient interaction, and other related matters.
Ministry of Health telehealth training and how-to guides
The Ministry of Health has released a set of training videos (a log in is required, which you can create the first time you use the service). The following topics are covered:
- What is telehealth? (5 min)
- Getting ready for telehealth (30 min)
- The telehealth consultation (30 min)
- Post learning reflection (10 min)
Once completed members will receive a certificate and can log two CPD points into Te Whanake.
ProCare telehealth clinical care guides
ProCare have developed several telehealth clinical modules covering different kinds of health concerns than may arise during a consultation. These comprehensive guides provide advice on how telehealth can safely be used to support patients in their own homes.
During GP22: the Conference for General Practice, there was a workshop held to share tips and tricks from specialist GPs who’ve become comfortable with telehealth. In addition to swapping some great war stories about the strangest places people have done consultations, the workshop produced lots of good advice that we’ve summarised.
The College recommends that practices continue to use the Health Pathways services available to them as they are being updated as new services and options become available.
Other telehealth uses
The NZ Telehealth Forum provides the most comprehensive overview of how telehealth is being used and developed in New Zealand. They define telehealth as ‘health care delivered using digital technology where participants may be separated by time and/or distance’ and have an excellent summary of the different modes of delivery that can fall under this definition.
Health Navigator provides another good overview of what telehealth can encompass (note the tabs across the top that provide further information) and their NZ Health App Library is a unique database of eHealth and mobile-health services, both New Zealand developed and international.
The Ministry of Health includes telehealth as part of its Digital Health work programme. We are hopeful that with the renewed interest in telehealth shown in Te Pae Tata – the Interim NZ Health Plan we will see some new material soon.
OpenNotes is the term that has come to mean the practice of allowing patients to view their health records and consultation notes, which they are already legally entitled to access, through a secure online portal. Health Navigator’s OpenNotes section is a great place to start if you are thinking about making your patients’ health records more easily accessible to them.
OpenNotes.org is the international movement promoting more access to patient notes and, while written primarily from a United States perspective, their sections on the effects of OpenNotes and how OpenNotes supports Health Professionals are still relevant here.
The College’s Foundation Standards sets the requirements for safe, quality care and helps practices understand what to do and how to do it. The guidance tab for the Patient information and privacy indicator is a great resource for general practices looking to improve cyber security and patient information management. If you’re looking for some quick reference information then the NZ Telehealth forum’s top 10 security tips is recommended as is the College's GP security checklist (below).
Women's Refuge advice on domestic violence and online health records
Women's Refuge have published a resource on the role of health practitioners in treating family violence called Health at What Cost? The Role of Health Practitioners in Treating Family Violence.
It includes valuable information about how online health records can be inappropriately accessed and used as a weapon.