Patients can connect with their healthcare professional from their home, from work, or from wherever is most convenient, using everyday devices – smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.
How does Telehealth video call work?
To improve access to our services, Western Health have partnered with Healthdirect Australia to offer Telehealth services via video consultation.
A Telehealth video call appointment is just like any other appointment at Western Health except you will be speaking to your healthcare professional on a video screen, rather than face-to-face in the hospital.
Telehealth video call appointments are as private as face-to-face appointments, with both you and the healthcare professional speaking in a private, secure virtual consultation room.
Unlike traditional video conferencing, patients do not need an account, special software or dial-in details, which reduces the need for extra resources or systems to support video consulting.
Western Health clinic staff will be notified when a patient arrives in the online waiting area and staff can even transfer patients to other specialists online, all on the one video call.
For more information on the Healthdirect Australia video call platform, please click here.
Telehealth frequently asked questions
If you have further queries or concerns, please raise these with your Western Health clinician in your next appointment.
Am I eligible for a Telehealth appointment?
Your healthcare professional will decide, based on your specific condition, needs and individual treatment plan whether a Telehealth appointment will be suitable for you.
Will I be charged for my Telehealth consultation?
This appointment is covered by Medicare.
If you do not have a valid Medicare card, you will be expected to pay a fee for this appointment.
If you have Overseas Private Health Insurance you may be able to recover some or all of the costs for the service.
For further details please visit our website https://www.westernhealth.org.au/PatientsandVisitors/Medicare_Ineligible or speak with our Finance Department by calling the Western Health switchboard on (03) 8345 6666 and asking to be directed to the Finance Department.
What are the advantages of Telehealth video consultations?
Every patient’s situation is different but in general, the benefits of this service include:
- improved access to specialist care
- reduced waiting time to see your healthcare professional
- reduced travel time and costs
- reduced absence from work
What happens at the Telehealth video call appointment?
You and a Western Health clinician will be connected on a Telehealth video consultation.
At the start, everyone will introduce themselves and the reason for the consultation will be explained. You will be asked some identifying questions such as your name, address, and date of birth to make sure the right patient, right clinicians and right health records are present. Your health professional will speak with you and ask you questions in the same way as they would at a face-to-face consultation.
How should I prepare for my Telehealth video call?
You can help get the best from a Telehealth video call by following these simple steps:
- arrive at least 10 minutes early to allow for preparation time
- have a list of your current medications with you to show your clinician if required
- switch your mobile off or to silent mode to avoid disruptions
- locate yourself in a safe and private environment to ensure you can speak freely and uninterrupted
- speak clearly so your voice can be picked up by the microphone
- look at the camera so you can achieve good eye contact with the clinician
- if you have any questions or need help during the Telehealth video call, just ask the clinician you are speaking with.
Are Telehealth consultations safe, private and confidential?
All our Telehealth consultations are private, confidential and adhere to the same clinical standards as face-to-face consultations at Western Health.
The Healthdirect platform used for Telehealth video consultations uses high quality encrypted video technology to provide health-grade privacy and security.
Is Telehealth just as good as seeing my specialist in person?
Western Health will maintain its high standard of care regardless of whether you have a consultation in person or via a Telehealth appointment.
Can a family member or carer join me in my Telehealth appointment?
Yes, your family or carer can attend your Telehealth appointment. More information can be found here.
Can an interpreter support me in my Telehealth appointment?
Yes, please let Western Health know you require an interpreter when you are requesting a Telehealth appointment, as you would a face-to-face appointment.
We will organise for an interpreter to support you in your Telehealth consultation at no cost to you
Will the Telehealth video calls be recorded?
No. Western Health does not record Telehealth video calls and we do not give patients permission to make their own recordings either.
What if I need a medical or attendance certificate?
Let the clinician know during your consultation and we will either post this to you or find an alternative way of getting this to you.
What happens if the Telehealth consultation is interrupted or internet connection is lost?
If the connection is interrupted or lost, the consultation will be continued by telephone or another appointment time will be booked.
If you are experiencing issues on the day and are unable to start the video call, please contact Western Health to reschedule, using the information at the bottom on your appointment letter, SMS or email.
What if I need to change my appointment?
If your appointment needs to be rescheduled, we will organise a new date and time. Please contact Western Health to reschedule, using the information at the bottom on your appointment letter, SMS or email.
What if I am running late?
To ensure that other patients are not affected, please ensure you start your scheduled Telehealth video call at least 10 minutes before your appointment.
If you are running late, we cannot guarantee that a clinician will be available for your appointment at a different time.
What if my specialist is running late?
Our services can be very busy and while we will do our best to see you as close to your appointment time as possible, we appreciate your patience in this matter.
You will be notified through the messaging function on your Healthdirect video call of any delays.
What if I don’t have a camera on my device? Will my appointment be cancelled?
If you do not have the required device and equipment for a Telehealth video call, please contact the telephone number on your appointment letter, SMS or email so we can arrange a consultation over the telephone.
Telehealth video calls are most helpful to me. Will other Western Health services be adding Telehealth in the future?
We are working on expanding our services that utilise Telehealth video call. Please don’t hesitate to ask your clinician at your next appointment whether attending via Telehealth is available and appropriate for you.
What happens if I need a prescription or require any tests or examinations?
Your clinician will discuss the need for prescriptions or tests with you during your consultation, including how you will receive your prescriptions and test request forms.
What if i prefer a face-to-face consultation instead of a Telehealth video call?
To support your care at Western Health, eligible patients are offered Telehealth video call consultations. Please contact the clinic you are attending to discuss your attendance preferences.