Navigating Telehealth: The Patients' Perspective

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Throughout last year, we asked you what do you, as patients and carers, think about the big change to the availability of telehealth for many medical consultations.

Led by the COVID-19 Health Consumer Taskforce together with the COVID-19 Consumer Representative Hub, we collected individual patient stories during a virtual workshop and on this very site through stories, surveys and polls.

Outcome 1 - reports (download on right)

We are excited to launch our findings in two reports:

  • Navigating Telehealth: The Patients' Perspective - providing a summary of the review and all key recommendations
  • Background report - providing more detail on the telehealth landscape and how it changed during COVID-19, along with the experiences of patients navigating these telehealth changes, and what health consumers recommend as a result.

The reports explore how telehealth unblocks the path to accessing appropriate care – breaking down the barriers of geographical distance and physical, emotional, time and cost restraints.

We examine how vital it is to provide patient choice. Telehealth does not suit everyone and for those that it does, a mix of consultation modes is important to ensure accessible, effective care that minimises burden and disruption.

We present a range of enablers identified by health consumers themselves, and we have framed the insights from the review into a set of actionable key recommendations.

Outcome 2 - briefing

Watch the recorded briefing of the investigation results (on right). The public briefing took place on Thursday, 6 May 2021.

Outcome 3 - presentation

Please download the presentation/briefing slides for use by everyone on the right.

Outcome 4 - media release

You can download the media release on the right.

Where to from here?

We are now distributing the reports and their findings to health consumer organisations in NSW, media, health consumer organisations and anyone who will listen. We hope the key recommendations can help to shape permanent telehealth services of the future in NSW and Australia.

Although the reports are published, you can still tell us your telehealth story below and take our short survey, the quick poll is closed.

Throughout last year, we asked you what do you, as patients and carers, think about the big change to the availability of telehealth for many medical consultations.

Led by the COVID-19 Health Consumer Taskforce together with the COVID-19 Consumer Representative Hub, we collected individual patient stories during a virtual workshop and on this very site through stories, surveys and polls.

Outcome 1 - reports (download on right)

We are excited to launch our findings in two reports:

  • Navigating Telehealth: The Patients' Perspective - providing a summary of the review and all key recommendations
  • Background report - providing more detail on the telehealth landscape and how it changed during COVID-19, along with the experiences of patients navigating these telehealth changes, and what health consumers recommend as a result.

The reports explore how telehealth unblocks the path to accessing appropriate care – breaking down the barriers of geographical distance and physical, emotional, time and cost restraints.

We examine how vital it is to provide patient choice. Telehealth does not suit everyone and for those that it does, a mix of consultation modes is important to ensure accessible, effective care that minimises burden and disruption.

We present a range of enablers identified by health consumers themselves, and we have framed the insights from the review into a set of actionable key recommendations.

Outcome 2 - briefing

Watch the recorded briefing of the investigation results (on right). The public briefing took place on Thursday, 6 May 2021.

Outcome 3 - presentation

Please download the presentation/briefing slides for use by everyone on the right.

Outcome 4 - media release

You can download the media release on the right.

Where to from here?

We are now distributing the reports and their findings to health consumer organisations in NSW, media, health consumer organisations and anyone who will listen. We hope the key recommendations can help to shape permanent telehealth services of the future in NSW and Australia.

Although the reports are published, you can still tell us your telehealth story below and take our short survey, the quick poll is closed.

Have you had an experience with telehealth you'd like to share?

We are keen to hear what you have to say about telehealth consultations:

- About when it worked well, or didn't work so well for you.

- Or were you unable to access telehealth when you wanted to? 

- Or you didn't want a telehealth consultation but had no other option available to you?

(We are referring to phone or video consultations between patients and GPs, nurses, outpatient clinics, allied health providers and psychological services. If you aren't from NSW that's OK, maybe tell us what state you are from?)

Following a check by our friendly moderation team your story will be published here. It will help us develop our response to the Federal Department of Health about the future of telehealth consultations.

Please note: if your story includes any serious complaints that you would like to see resolved, we highly recommend posting it on Care Opinion (www.careopinion.org.au) as the service will be alerted. Just mention 'telehealth' in your story and we will see it when we review the latest published stories on Care Opinion.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Following a check by our friendly moderation team your story will be published here. It will help us develop our response to the Federal Department of Health about the future of telehealth consultations.

We may publish your story without personally identifying information (anonymously) in any publication arising from this work.

Kind regards, 

The Amplify Team

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    Problems with Scan (CT Ultrasound etc)

    by Ali, about 2 months ago

    I would like to tell you a story re digital/virtual health. I m a big fan of virtual health. I use phone consultations with my GP and Oncologist which saves me a lot of time as I don’t have to drive anywhere, or sit around in waiting rooms. I feel much safer (especially during these COVID times ) as I do not have to have contact with others who, because they are at the doctors, are sick.

    However, there seems to be a problem that I have not heard others speak of in regard to scans. Many scanning companies no... Continue reading

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    Mark Tayar

    by marktee, 5 months ago
    I have a chronic mental health condition and also care for someone with one. During COVID we were in lockdown together and supported each other as much as we can with the help of telephone lines SANE and the now-closed Being Supported (NSW warm line). We also saw our GPs for scripts, advice and referrals using mostly calls but occasionally video.


    Overall, it was disappointing that adequate video conferencing was not used and it was difficult to see specialists quickly. For my private psychiatrist, his reception didn't answer the phone, did not return voicemails or emails and were not even... Continue reading

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    My m Mental Health dictates what communication I prefer.

    by Suebooballan, 5 months ago
    I Have Bipolar Disorder 1 & PTSD.

    If I am low or depressed or psychotic, I love Telehealth (especially phone). I don’t have to try to get to the Dr & I don’t have to look at anyone.

    If I am high or manic or psychotic, I prefer in person first, then video link especially Zoom (very user friendly) then telephone.

    If I am within normal limits, I would prefer face to face, then video then phone

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    Saved me sitting in a hospital for 8 hours

    by Michelle , about 1 year ago

    If we had not have had tele health, when after 18 months finally getting an appointment in the pain management clinic to see if i qualified for it, i would have had to go and sit in a hospital with revolving appointments for a day. In the letter they said felm 9am-5pm. This would have provided issues not just due to my disability but would also have meant I would not have been able to meet my parental commitments to my young children.

    Because of telehealth I was able to schedule the first appointment to start minutes after school drop... Continue reading

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    Great way to discuss ongoing issues and hear results

    by RMfeedback, about 1 year ago

    My doctor is monitoring my bloodwork and it was much easier to have her phone me to confirm that a script would be waiting and then subsequently to advise the test results and next steps. It saved me time and was reasonably seamless.

    It could be improved by having integrated calendar systems that confirm the appointment via SMS and add a calendar appointment, then have the team follow up 15 minutes or 5 minutes before to advise if the doctor is on time or a little late.

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    Telehealth and Script Renewals

    by MM, about 1 year ago

    My husband has multiple health issues for which he needs prescriptions. He is also in a wheelchair. Being able to get renewals over the phone is wonderful and quick. The appointments are easy to make and the dr's call is usually close to the designated timeslot.


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    Pricing of Telehealth Consultations Should Be Transparent

    by Ardsleym, about 1 year ago

    I was under the impression that the Telehealth consultations were to be gratis.

    I had my first consultation with a specialist from St Vincent's Clinic on 22/4. I found that I could communicate my problem easily and he listened well. I was very satisfied with the consultation. Later I asked the specialist for another consultation because I needed help in interpreting the results of my brain MRI and the Mayo Clinic article on some of what was covered in the report frightened me. I was also pleased with that second consultation on 27 May.

    On 13 July I had an... Continue reading

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    Wound care by phone

    by Ann, about 1 year ago

    My husband picked up an untraceable bug while recovering from major surgery and after some foraging stays in hospital which was over an hour's drive away, came home to recuperate. The bug found it's way out and became a wound which I had to learn to dress with direction over the phone. I could send weekly photos when I was worried it was getting worse and they could make judgements as to whether we needed to come in, get antibiotics or wait it out. This went on for 8 months so we all became very connected and treatment was immediate... Continue reading

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    Great for follow up and chronic conditions

    by Kelly, about 1 year ago

    Telehealth has been wonderful for me as I have multiple ongoing specialist reviews for a previous illness. My long term GP and specialists are all in Sydney while I live on the central coast. Being able to deal with some of these appointments by phone with local pathology has saved me taking the whole day off work to attend.

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    Eye contact still important

    by sjoyner, about 1 year ago

    It’s generally quicker as no waiting room time though I prefer eye contact and perhaps an intuitive doctor would too