myVirtualCare has been growing in popularity across NSW with over 139,700 video consultations since its state-wide inception in September 2020, including 27,519 in October 2021. Convenience, saving time and COVID-19 restrictions are some of the reasons behind the recent rapid rise in the number of patients and clinicians using myVirtualCare.
What is myVirtualCare?
myVirtualCare is a custom-built, web-based videoconferencing platform that helps patients, healthcare providers and carers safely access healthcare. Designed to complement in-person appointments, patients can skip the traditional trip to the hospital or health facility for their medical appointment, and conveniently receive care virtually.
According to patients and carers from the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), myVirtualCare is very easy to use and a great way to access their healthcare.
“Can myVirtualCare always be an option for future appointments?” asked one of the many patients and carers in online feedback provided to SWSLHD. Another one added “This system is so much easier to use than other video conferencing solutions.”
In fact, 95% of the survey respondents said they would use virtual care again and 83% said the technologies used improved their access to care. The reduced need to travel to and from appointments was also highlighted as a huge benefit.
Benefits of myVirtualCare
eHealth NSW has played a key role in the success of myVirtualCare by increasing data centre capacity to support much higher use of virtual care across the state. For patients, their families and carers, myVirtualCare provides a seamless and convenient way to access their clinical and social care providers using one web link on most internet-enabled devices.
SWSLHD has been experiencing significant growth in the number of clinicians using myVirtualCare for a range of services including mental health, speech and virtual visiting. In August alone, over 2500 consultations were conducted by SWSLHD clinicians, which is a 57% increase compared to the previous month.
“I can ensure patient care can still be carried out in the community while keeping people safe from unnecessary exposure to the COVID-19 virus,” said Dr Christine Peng from Campbelltown Hospital.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on patient care, including restricting patient visitors in hospital. Using myVirtualCare, virtual visiting has allowed for some heart-felt experiences such as enabling families to say goodbye to loved ones. “Thank you for the opportunity to say goodbye to my beloved brother,” said a family member who provided feedback.
It has also allowed for families to remain connected between wards and other hospitals when all family members have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
eHealth’s Virtual Care Program Director Ian Schrader said: “myVirtualCare is another great example of NSW Health safely taking healthcare beyond bricks and mortar and providing patients and clinicians with more choice about how, when and where care is delivered. It has also played a vital role during the pandemic.”
eHealth NSW would like to acknowledge the Agency for Clinical Innovation, who is managing the rollout of myVirtualCare by engaging change champions, developing resources and delivering training to health services across the state.
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