Roundup: Monash Health sets up virtual clinic for blood pressure management and more briefs
Monash Health pilots virtual clinic for blood pressure management
Monash Health, a public health service in Victoria, has piloted its pharmacist-led virtual clinic for managing the blood pressure of patients with chronic diseases.
Dubbed Optimising One Medication with Patients (OOMPa), the virtual clinic sees patients for the titration and adjustment of their blood pressure medication.
Through a mobile app, pharmacists on-site can receive patients’ real-time vital sign data collected through a Bluetooth-powered blood pressure cuff. With the data, pharmacists are able to adjust their medication dose online using a guideline-based protocol.
The online service, touted as the world’s first, is being tried out among liver disease patients.
So far based on the trial, the virtual process has enabled pharmacists to constantly monitor for side effects and assess compliance while patients are able to see in real-time the results of taking their medication, according to Chloe McAinch, one of the clinic’s lead pharmacists.
Moreover, it was also found that the trial helps patients start their medications and successfully reach the right dose.
The virtual clinic is a collaboration between the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Monash Health Pharmacy, and Hospital in the Home.
Australia offers telehealth subsidy for COVID-19 antiviral prescription
The Australian government is temporarily subsidising the cost of long teleconsultations for the prescription of COVID-19 antiviral medications.
The new Medicare Benefits Schedule item on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will provide eligible COVID-19-positive patients with access to prescriptions of antiviral medications, which are required to be taken within five days following the onset of symptoms.
In a statement, Health Minister Mark Butler said he was told by doctors that “it will be easier to get antivirals prescribed if they have access to this telehealth measure”.
Antiviral medicines, he said, “dramatically reduce the risk of severe disease, particularly for older Australians, and will help keep people out of hospitals”.
The Medicare telehealth item will be available until 31 October.
Yarram District Health Service adopts Global Health’s EMR, patient engagement tools
The Yarram District Health Service in Victoria has signed a contract with health technology company Global Health for the implementation of several MasterCare clinical solutions.
Based on a media release, Global Health will provide its MasterCare EMR, Dashboards as a Service, ReferralNet Secure Messaging Platform and patient engagement platform Hothealth to the hospital and community health services in Yarram.
These solutions will allow the health facilities to connect directly with patients and enhance their clinical and administrative processes, empowering staff to spend more time on improving patient outcomes than on paperwork and processes.
“Our MasterCare solutions will enable Yarram to better run their day-to-day health management; provide improved reporting and business insight; actively engage with patients through an online presence and telehealth which helps to address the needs of their communities; and improve patient care,” Global Health CEO Michael Davies further explained.