Telstra Health has partnered with Medtasker and Southern Adelaide Local Health District (SALHN) to establish the technology solution for Complex and RestorativE (CARE) service and Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) in the Home, two new healthcare services which will provide digitally-enabled care to help improve the lives of patients outside of a hospital setting.

William Grant, Acting General Manager – Virtual Care Solutions at Telstra Health, said,
“When it comes to applying virtual technologies to healthcare delivery, the opportunities are endless for healthcare providers, their workforces and, most importantly, patients. By joining with SALHN we are able to support them in building the right pathways for older patients in the South Australian community to receive high-quality healthcare in more ideal settings.”

The CARE service is an innovation which is benefiting from the alliance between Telstra Health, SALHN and SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) which aims to provide high-quality healthcare to older patients that do not require emergency department services.

The CARE service can be provided to patients either at the Care Centre at the Repat Health Precinct - a healthcare facility in Daw Park - or in a patient’s home including a residential care setting via a virtual triage team. The latter involves care and diagnosis being delivered via virtual video consultations and virtual health monitoring, with notifications being sent to alert staff if further intervention is required.

William added,
“The CARE service has been specifically designed to meet the needs of older people requiring non-emergency care as well as comprehensive assessment and treatment away from the emergency department and in a more appropriate environment. Diverting older patients from presenting at emergency departments and keeping them out of hospital is extremely important considering the complex health challenges this group often have.”

The CARE service is available each weekday between 9am and 5pm, with hours of operation planned to be extended.

The care delivered through these services aims to assist patients who are recovering from injury or illness, enabling them to be more independent and to lead a more active life.

The incorporated digital health solutions utilise parts of Telstra Health’s suite of virtual care technologies, including My Care Manager, Bluetooth observation devices and passive environmental monitoring, to escalate system alerts and provide a secure way for clinicians to collaborate effectively.

Diane Campbell, Telstra Health Business Development Manager said,
“Our brief was to enable the SALHN teams to use modern connected digital tools that support clinical staff to deliver great care in efficient ways – reducing risk and improving satisfaction and outcomes for patients and staff alike. In doing so, we are working to change the approach to care in the community by supporting the drive to improve home-based and community-based patient care in South Australia.

“As well as supporting geriatric patients to remain at home safely, this initiative may also allow some patients to discharge from hospital to return home earlier with increased monitoring from the healthcare team.”

Dr Vincent McCauley, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Medical Information Officer at Telstra Health, said,
“CARE and GEM in the Home empowers patients who are recovering from an injury or illness to adjust to new ways of doing things, with high quality of life at the forefront. This new technology enables patients to take control of their recovery and health management through a combination of engagement, and passive and active monitoring, which means they can continue to receive high-quality healthcare from the comfort of their own home.”

Both the CARE service and GEM in the Home launched in September and are available to patients as a part of these programs within the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.

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