Telehealth Support

28 projects share in $15.7M to provide training and support to utilise online technologies to deliver health services via real-time, video conferencing.
 

Recipients

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory

This project aims to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory by maximising the use of online video conferencing technology. The project will provide better opportunities for primary care practitioners and their patients to access specialist services without requiring the patient to travel long distances.

Adelaide UniCare

The aim of this project is to develop processes and procedures that enable health practitioners to effectively use telehealth in patient care. Project activities include the provision of continuing professional development training via the UniHealth Playford Teaching and Training Facility to medical students from the two South Australian medical schools via face-to-face learning and video conferencing; provision of profession-specific advice to users of telehealth systems in existing medical practices; promoting the uptake of telehealth; and the development of a telehealth users network.

Australian Association of Consultant Physicians

The project will develop models to demonstrate telehealth to the consultant physician and paediatrician community. The aim is to support an expanded program of telehealth demonstration projects and to provide support to ensure their sustainability. The initial program will be established in north east Victoria and then expanded into other regional areas.

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

This project extends ACRRM’s currently funded activities with the Department, bringing the existing timeframe in line with the Telehealth Support program’s newer projects. The extension will enable the further refinement of the professional standards framework, support tools, telehealth advice to practitioners, and the sustainable provision of the Core Telehealth Educational Module.

Australian Medicare Local Alliance

The aim is to build telehealth capacity and readiness within the primary care sector, with a focus on rural, remote and outer-metropolitan areas to assist in the adoption of telehealth into everyday practice. A key focus of this project is to facilitate the engagement of Telehealth Support officers that will support the 62 Medicare Locals within the network, and to host a range of regional workshops addressing telehealth needs.

Australian Practice Nurses Association – lead of the Nursing and Midwifery telehealth consortia

This project aims to improve access to specialist services for patients in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas by enabling nurses and midwives to facilitate safe, high quality telehealth consultations. Objectives include the development of professional standards and guidelines for nurses and midwives; provision of education and training via an e-learning program and the provision of support to rural, remote; and outer-metropolitan areas through the engagement of a Telehealth Support team.

Goldfields Midwest Medicare Local

The project will facilitate the engagement of two Telehealth Support Officers to work with the local clinical community. The aim is to develop, monitor and maintain patient care standards through the provision of telehealth consultations. As part of the project outcomes, the participant will provide after-hours telehealth support to the clinicians within the agreed geographic catchment area.

HealthFirst Network

This project will to develop and implement a change management program to support the uptake of telehealth Medicare rebates. The aim is to enable eligible health practitioners to deliver services that are in line with the telehealth standards and guidelines developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The objectives of the project are to translate the telehealth standards into a skill set that enables practitioners to maintain a high level of patient care.

Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local

The project aim is to promote the use and uptake of telehealth consultations within 20 Residential Aged Care Facilities. The objectives include reducing waiting times for aged care residents to be seen by a specialist and to increase the capacity of specialists to see more patients by proposing to provide blocks of time, for example, one morning a week, where a specialist will be booked to see a pre-arranged rotation of patients, assisted by an aged care worker at the patient end.

Macedon Ranges and North Western Medicare Local

This project aims to respond to the needs of general practitioners, specialists and allied health professionals to provide Medicare eligible telehealth services across the Macedon Ranges and the North Western Metropolitan Medicare Local catchment area.

Monash University

The aim of this project is to develop and implement practical units of study for general practices offering Medicare eligible telehealth consultations. The project will train medical practitioners in the use of telehealth services to ensure high quality, safe and effective consultations that retain a patient-focussed approach to health care.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

The project aim is to enhance Aboriginal people’s access to medical specialists through the provision of a range of training and supports that enable telehealth consultations to be provided to patients through community controlled health services.

Perth North Metro Medicare Local

This project will address and resolve a range of barriers to access specialist medical services in residential aged care facilities in Perth. The project outcome is to determine the elements required for general practitioners and aged care workers to appropriately provide services via telehealth consultations. The benefits of the project include increased access to specialist care, reduced transfer requirements (for example, by ambulance, taxi or family members taking relatives to see specialists face-to-face). These outcomes will result in more timely provision of specialist services to aged care residents.

Queensland Rural Medical Education

Project aim is to promote the use of online technologies to rural practitioners and registrars working in south-east Queensland as a model for use in rural Australia. The project will provide access for patients to see specialists without leaving their rural community or the care of a rural practitioner.

Royal Australasian College of Physicians

This project aims to promote, develop and support the implementation of telehealth services by Australian physicians across all medical specialties to provide better access to specialist care for patients in rural and remote areas. The project outcomes are to raise awareness among health care professionals of physicians’ ability and availability to engage in telehealth consultations.

Royal Australasian College Surgeons

Project aims to inform and support practicing surgeons, as Fellows of the College, in the use of telehealth technologies. The objective is to provide and expand the delivery and access to medical specialist care in outer metropolitan, rural and remote areas of Australia.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Project aim is to develop user-friendly resources for psychiatrists to promote the adoption of telehealth services by Fellows of the College. The aim is to raise awareness among psychiatrists of the benefits of telehealth in clinical practice.

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

The project aims to develop a set of clinical practice guidelines, an online service provider directory, and an online learning module. The outcomes of the project include a telehealth stream at the College’s annual conference and will increase awareness and interest in telehealth through the implementation of an awareness-raising campaign.

Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Incorporated

The project aim is to increase uptake to the telehealth measure in rural South Australia. Its outcomes include the provision of assistance to rural practices and will seek to expand the services currently provided via the Medical Services Outreach Program (MSOAP). A small number of private residential aged care facilities will also receive targeted assistance as part of the project.

Rural Health Education Foundation

Project aims to develop training and supports for dissemination via DVD, webcasts and the RHEF’s new Rural Health digital television channel. The outcomes of this project include the production of a multimedia package that will be developed in consultation with the RHEF’s project partners, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).

Rural Health West

Project aims to provide a range of practice-based training and support activities to increase uptake and sustainability of telehealth. The Telehealth Support team will map accredited training modules provided through the specialist medical Colleges to develop an on-line information package on the Rural Health West website. Dedicated support will be provided to health practitioners in rural and remote Western Australia and to practitioners based in outer metropolitan Melbourne.

Rural Workforce Agency, Victoria

The project aims to improve access by rural patients and general practitioners to medical specialists through the targeted promotion of telehealth Medicare items. Further, the project aims to develop an expansion of activities, using telehealth, for its existing Medical Services Outreach Assistance Program (MSOAP).

St Vincent’s Hospital, Brisbane

The project aim is to promote the use of online technologies to rural medical and health practitioners in southern Queensland. It aims to promote the use of telehealth to enable patients to be seen by a specialist without leaving the rural community and care of their rural practitioner.

Western NSW Medicare Local

Project aim is to increase patient access to telehealth consultations by supporting uptake to telehealth to deliver care in the Western Medicare Local area of New South Wales. The objectives of the project include the provision of fast, responsive support to health practitioners with the engagement of a Telehealth Support Officer. A further aim is to increase confidence in the use of new technology to provide health care. The health professional groups targeted include general practitioners, practice nurses, medical specialists, Aboriginal health workers and residential aged care facilities in the central west region of NSW.

Townsville Division of General Practice

The project aims to increase the use of telehealth services in rural Queensland. The outputs include the development of a training module that will assist medical practices to more readily adopt the use of telehealth technologies into everyday practice and the engagement of Telehealth Support Officers to provide an active program of supports that will further enhance uptake to the telehealth measure.

UniQuest

The project will foster the uptake of Medicare eligible telehealth consultations and deliver university-based undergraduate and post graduate training to students of the University of Queensland: a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course will be developed as a Certificate in Clinical Telehealth (with 4 core subjects) and an undergraduate elective will be developed as a single-semester academic unit.

University Department of Rural Health, Tasmania

The project will use an existing interactive training environment to develop skills in delivering health services to rural and remote areas via telehealth. The enhancement of this training environment – supplemented with a range of electronic and paper based materials – will facilitate the use of telehealth consultations by health practitioners, to enable those in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas to have better access to specialist services.

University of Notre Dame Australia

The project aims to develop an accredited training module (Certificate Level III in Health Services) for the vocational education and training (VET) sector. The aim is to provide a skills-based training course targeting employees, including practice managers and administration staff, working in medical practices to learn how to provide support to general practitioners and specialists to establish and maintain telehealth services. A Graduate Certificate in Telehealth will be developed and provided as a continuing professional development (CPD) training activities that can be accessed by a range of health professionals.


 

Background

The Australian Government aims to ensure Australians have a better, more sustainable health system now and in the future.  To achieve this outcome, the Government will act to make best use of the skills and capacity of the available health workforce, address health workforce shortages and maintain appropriate standards for health practitioners.

The Australian Government has committed $620 million over five years for the ‘Connecting Health Services with the Future: Modernising Medicare by Providing Rebates for Online Consultations’ initiative (the Initiative) that will enable Australians in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas to have better access to specialist services.

 

Funding Available

The Telehealth Support component will fund the development of a range of training supports, including continuing professional development training, tools and guidelines to facilitate online telehealth consultations and to promote uptake to the Initiative.

As a guide, the minimum funding available is $100,000 (GST exclusive) with a maximum of $2.0 million (GST exclusive). Timeframes for funding will be to a maximum period of 18 months until 31 May 2013.

 

Who is eligible to receive funding?

Accredited health education training providers and health professional organisations that represent the groups eligible for telehealth Medicare rebates are eligible to apply for funding.

These non-government organisations will be invited to submit proposals for funding to undertake innovative projects to develop continuing professional development training, support tools and guidelines to facilitate online video conference consultations and to promote uptake of the Initiative.

Funding Stream Eligible organisations
Development of Standards
and Guidelines
 Specialist medical colleges.Other health professional organisations (including aged care peak bodies, Aboriginal health workers and nursing sector).
Training and Support Specialist medical colleges.
Other health professional organisations (including aged care peak
bodies, Aboriginal health workers and the nursing sector).
Universities and higher education providers.
Accredited health education training organisations.
Non-government organisations, including those who establish a
partnership to achieve the outcomes required.
Divisions of General Practice/ Medicare Locals.
Telehealth Support Officer Specialist medical colleges.
Other health professional organisations (such as aged care peak bodies,
Aboriginal health workers and nursing sector).
Accredited health education training organisations.
Non-government organisations, including those who establish a partnership to achieve the outcomes required.
Divisions of General Practice/ Medicare Locals.
Development of
communications and
awareness raising activities
Specialist medical colleges.
Other health professional organisations (including aged care peak bodies, Aboriginal health workers and nursing sector).
Accredited health education training organisations.
Universities and higher education providers.
Non-government organisations, including those who establish a partnership to achieve the outcomes required.
Divisions of General Practice/ Medicare Locals.

 

Who is not eligible for funding?

Telehealth Support applications will not be accepted from:

  • Information Technology (IT) providers
  • State or Territory Government entities
  • Individuals
  • Non incorporated organisations
  • Applicants who do not hold a current Australian Business Number (ABN).

 

Potential Projects

Telehealth Support funding will be available to applicants proposing new and innovative projects that clearly demonstrate enhanced uptake and future sustainability to the Initiative.

Eligible organisations must demonstrate the capacity of their project to provide specific telehealth supports to rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas, with preference towards national-level coverage.

Telehealth Support projects considered for funding must address telehealth support activities in one or more of the following funding streams:

  1. Development of Standards and Guidelines Funding Stream
  2. Training and Support Funding Stream
  3. Telehealth Support Officer Funding Stream
  4. Development of Communications and Awareness Raising Activities Funding Stream

 

1. Development of Standards and Guidelines Funding Stream

Development and dissemination of professional standards and clinical guidelines to guide health practitioners in the provision of video consultations.

The development of professional standards and clinical guidelines is required for use by health practitioners to provide information and advice tailored to their specialty.  Guidelines will assist health practitioners to produce the maximum outcome for patients with the minimum impact on practices.

Preference will be towards best practice guidelines for online health consultations that encompass the spectrum of health providers involved, and that provide health practitioners with governing principals to provide appropriate consultations via online video conferencing technologies.

The guidelines must cover, at minimum, risk management strategies; delivery of care using online technologies; safety protocols; and information management, including managing patient records and privacy.

Telehealth guidelines will be a key source of information used to guide practitioners in the provision of telehealth consultations and will serve to inform safe and appropriate practice.

 

2. Training and Support Funding Stream

The provision of training to health practitioners is vital to increasing uptake to the Initiative.  Training developed must encompass the use of telehealth technology to enable effective, appropriate online video conference consultations.  Training will need to address a range of issues, including the clinical aspects of telehealth services as well as addressing patient privacy, cultural sensitivities and information on protocols. Activities should provide continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities to health practitioners through the development of training modules in telehealth service provision as part of that
organisation’s CPD role.

 

3. Telehealth Support Officer Funding Stream

The role of Telehealth Support Officers (TSO) will be to provide profession-specific advice and support to key organisations.  The engagement of such personnel will ensure enhanced capacity in the primary care and specialist sector to adopt telehealth practices by:

  • providing information and communications technologies (ICT) training and support to medical practices in the installation and usage of teleconferencing equipment;
  • disseminating information to promote the uptake of telehealth consultations;
  • providing a communications network in which experiences can be shared and the quality of practice increased; and
  • assist in data collection activities and evaluation of services on behalf of the Department.

 

3. Development of Communications and Awareness Raising Activities Funding Stream

Communications and awareness-raising activities would be managed through multiple routes to include information on Medicare item rebates, financial incentives, contacts and other supports as available.  Applicants must demonstrate how the project will maximise the uptake of telehealth services by ensuring health practitioners are aware of the benefits of the new Initiative.
Information developed for dissemination may include a number of flexible formats such as fact-sheets, pamphlets, which seek to inform on:

  • the availability of telehealth technology;
  • instructions on the use of and limits of telehealth technology;
  • availability of support for the provision of telehealth consultations; and
  • benefits of providing telehealth consultations.

 

What is not eligible for funding?

  • Commercial ventures or products developed primarily for a commercial purpose;
  • financial support for the business operations of an organisation; or
  • set up or direct costs associated with technological implementation or infrastructure (ie. technical equipment).
  • Funding under the Initiative is for new projects.  For example, applications from the Divisions of General Practice/ Medicare Locals for support officers to perform tasks that are part of the E-Health Support Officer

 

 

Expert Assistance

We have raised almost $1 M for telehealth grants with a 100% success rate. We also have direct experience with $15M + health grant applications. We can provide assistance with all aspects of this grant. Contact us on 03 9005 6789 or email to see how we can assist you further.Typical areas where we can be of assistance include:

  • Demonstrating the identified need;
  • Highlighting the relevance to current government policies and priorities;
  • Complete the Project Plan and Budget Projections;
  • Identify Outcomes that are measurable;
  • Detail the applicant organisation’s experience or expertise in undertaking the project/s;
  • Calculating the value for money; and
  • Demonstrating capacity to deliver quality outcomes

Call us on 03 9005 6789 or email us to discuss how we can assist further.

 

2017-02-09T17:13:18+00:00July 5th, 2012|