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SA Dental Integrates Telehealth Into Their Digitial Patient Pathways

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Written by Lucille Webster

April 9, 2021

How to remotely triage patients and deliver emergency specialist consultations

COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in South Australia for private and public dental services in March 2020. As a result, SA Dental and Adelaide Dental Hospital became the focal points for triaging and treating emergency dental cases.

A digital health solution was needed to remotely triage patients, reliably capture patient histories, and deliver emergency specialist telehealth consults.

The solution needed to be deployed within days and support rapidly changing COVID-19 protocols. It was also important to achieve high patient response rates to minimise the need for in-person assessments where clinically appropriate.

Telehealth consults are a key part of the SA Dental patient journey. During COVID-19, we needed to rapidly adapt our entire pre-screening process, and post-consult information, into a digital experience to ensure continuity of urgent medical care.

Within weeks, we embedded healthdirect Video Call within the Personify Care digital patient pathway. This enabled us to remotely triage patients, reliably capture patient histories, and deliver emergency specialist telehealth consults.”

– Dr Michael Bradley BDS, MBA Director Clinical Business, SA Dental

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Managing patient interactions before and after a SA Dental Telehealth consult

 

To respond to the surge in demand, manual workflows were converted into digital patient pathways using Personify Care and healthdirect Video Call.

SA Dental was able to manage patients and streamline communication for patients requiring urgent care via video calls. Patients were invited to their care pathway via SMS and provided with a secure checklist that screened their health history and, where appropriate, triggered an emergency specialist video consult.

Clinicians controlled the pathways and could update them directly in accordance with SA Health guidelines, as required.

97% patient response rate to SA Dental Telehealth Patient Pathways

Over 6,581 clinical risk factors were automatically screened, enabling staff to triage patients and provide emergency care remotely.

Within the first 24 hours of South Australia’s November COVID-19 lockdown, the digital patient pathways enabled SA Dental staff to triage and provide emergency care to 90 inbound patients remotely.

As a result, only one patient required hospital admission.

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Shaping the future of health in South Australia

 

Personify Care has now been extended to the pre-admission assessment of non-emergency patients before surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Staff feedback is overwhelmingly positive: “Very user-friendly programme with many advantages to our booking procedures” – Judy Currie, Registered Nurse, SA Dental.

Digital patient pathways can simultaneously achieve a personalised patient experience and increase health services’ capacity to deliver high-value care to patients during COVID-19 and beyond.

How to embed telehealth into patient pathway flowchart

Start your journey to an integrated telehealth patient experience

To learn more about healthdirect Video Call, visit: about.healthdirect.gov.au/video-call

To try the Personify Care Telehealth Patient Pathway experience, click here or book a call with one of our Telehealth patient pathway specialists. 

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