Telehealth and the digital future of primary health care

College news

The NZ Telehealth Forum defines telehealth as the use of information and communication technologies to deliver health care when patients and care providers are not in the same physical location.

The College is doing a lot of work in this space and has recently developed a position statement which sets out how and when telehealth can be used to be best help patients.  It is important to note that while telehealth can potentially improve access to health care, the College acknowledges that technology can never substitute the human elements of general practice, such as empathy, compassion, kindness and perception.  

Patient safety will always be of paramount importance and using telehealth technology will in no way remove the requirement for health practitioners to comply with all relevant legal, professional and ethical standards.



 

Patient Portals

One example of telehealth changing the way general practices are interacting with patients is the use of patient portals.  College Medical Director and eHealth Ambassador Dr Richard Medlicott shares the Ministry of Health’s latest take up statistics and encourages more GPs to start using portals:

“There is continued growth in the uptake of practices using patient portals, and the total number of patients signed up for them,” says Dr Medlicott. 

“When looking into the numbers more deeply, it is clear that the practices are on a learning curve, with relatively low percentages of patients enrolled at active practices. Think about ways of increasing uptake, so that you can reap the benefits. A ‘whole of team’ approach with all staff encouraging the use of portals can be very effective.”

 

College hosted IT summit

To find out more about how technology is being used in primary health care, the College is hosting a Summit in Wellington on 23 November 2017.  This event is an interactive one day workshop and is open to anyone with an interest in primary care innovation.  

Attendees will help identify technology-related opportunities for the sector and the barriers that need to be overcome if the sector is to achieve these. By the end of the day we hope to have a robust action plan that will help us create an appropriate, digitally-enabled future.

To find out more, visit the IT summit event page.
 

 

College hosted summit

The College is hosting an interactive one day workshop in Wellington on 23 November 2017.

Attendees will help identify technology-related opportunities for the sector and the barriers that need to be overcome if the sector is to achieve these.

By the end of the day we hope to have a robust action plan that will help us create an appropriate, digitally-enabled future.

Find out more