Eastern Health teams up with My Emergency Doctor to deliver virtual care
Melbourne’s Box Hill Hospital has bolstered its Emergency Department workforce through an arrangement that provides them scalable access to virtual senior emergency specialists My Emergency Doctor.
The partnership will provide additional specialist emergency physician support to the hospital to see low-acuity presentations at peak times using telehealth. It will allow them to treat non-urgent patients more quickly and extend their overall emergency department capacity to cater for an even higher volume of patients.
Eastern Health Director of Medical Services Dr Peter Jordan said the model was designed to service patients who were relatively stable but needed assessment.
“At times of high demand we can access highly skilled and qualified senior medical staff to help us see the large number of patients who come to us. It is a better experience for patients,” Dr Jordan said.
Eastern Health is currently implementing the innovative emergency care model at Box Hill Hospital before introducing it at Maroondah Hospital and Angliss Hospital in the coming weeks.
Under the partnership, Eastern Health nurses will triage patients presenting at the emergency department.
With this extended capacity within the emergency department, the nurse can direct stable and non-urgent cases to a My Emergency Doctor specialist to assess the patient. Consultations are conducted in a private room using a web-enabled device and the doctor specialist can write prescriptions for the patient if medically necessary.
All consulting emergency specialists at My Emergency Doctors are Australian qualified and are Fellows of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (FACEMs). Dr Jordan said the new service was increasing Eastern Health’s medical capacity as demand continued to grow and the challenges of dealing with the pandemic were ongoing.
“The workload of the public hospital system continues to increase, especially in emergency,” he said.
“It has been difficult to access clinicians and COVID has made that a lot worse.”
My Emergency Doctor CEO Bill Maiden said, “Our specialist emergency doctors offer quality care when hospitals need it. This can reduce wait times for patients and reduce the stress on our clinicians and healthcare systems.”
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