In the 2017 financial year, there were over 7.8 million emergency presentations in Australian hospitals, 40% of which are estimated to be inappropriate or non-urgent visits that could potentially be better handled by a general practitioner.
These non-urgent visits are costing taxpayers almost $1 billion each year and are adding pressure to already low hospital resources. Crowded emergency departments and a lack of resources mean patient care quality can slip. For example, 22% of patients reported emergency department nurses did not listen to them carefully and 31% claimed the doctors and specialists did not spend enough time with them.
This is where telehealth offers a solution. Coviu’s video consultation software provides convenient and flexible care for these non-urgent patients, ensuring they receive the support and attention they deserve. Coviu also allows clinicians to care for patients beyond office hours, meaning they do not need to attend emergency services simply due to hours of availability.
Here are three ways Coviu can reduce the burden on emergency departments and Improve health outcomes for patients:
- Offer a better solution for the ‘cold and flu crowd’
Pesky coughs, ear infections, and insect bites are just a few examples of conditions that patients arrive within emergency departments. In reality, a brief online consult with a general practitioner to receive a prescription or referral to a specialist is more than sufficient. Coviu’s video consultation software is convenient for both the patient and clinician, as all appointments - even after-hours consults - can occur in the comfort of one’s own home.
- Clinicians can see more patients each day
Coviu dramatically decreases patient wait time and allows for unparalleled flexibility, as after-hours consults are easy to conduct and attend. This means patients with non-urgent but pressing issues, can access the care they need more efficiently, reducing the number of unnecessary emergency visits. Essentially, the more patients that can be seen through online video visits, the less pressure is placed on emergency hospital resources.
- Improve patient access to specialists
Through the use of telehealth, general practitioners can quickly and easily make referrals to specialists, without the need for patients to travel into the medical practice or wait hours in a busy emergency room where they may not receive the best standard of care. Primary health care facilities should, therefore, offer telehealth services, ensuring they do not needlessly lose patients to emergency departments.
Overall, with the high rates of non-urgent emergency room visits, there is a significant opportunity for healthcare professionals to use Coviu to effectively reduce the pressure placed on hospital resources. In addition, clinicians can see more patients, earn more revenue and increase patient outcomes.