Did you know we offer consultations over telehealth?

Published 21st April 2020

Written by Stelios Sioutis, Accredited Practising Dietitian 

An announcement by the Federal Government on Monday 20th April, 2020 has made it easier for our clients to access Medicare- funded dietetic care via telehealth. Whilst this is a temporary measure for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, it provides a wonderful way of being able to access dietetic support throughout this time.  

Here's why telehealth is a great option:

  • Convenience of having your consult wherever you happen to be.
  • It meets South Australia's current social distancing requirements.
  • We use the CSIRO's secure health software, known as Coviu, which allows you to meet with your Dietitian, face-to-face, and experience as much privacy as a you would expect to get in a consultation room.
  • Early use of CSIRO's software has shown it to be extremenely stable and has facilitated a seamless experience in the vast majority of consultations held so far with our own clients.
  • Funding provided by Medicare and DVA for Chronic Disease Management Plans and Eating Disorder Management Plans are all available just like the face-to-face experience.
  • Health fund rebates for those paying privately for their telehealth consultation, will need to follow-up on claims directly with their health fund following full payment. We make this easy by sending you an electronic receipt so you can forward this to your health fund online immediately after your consultation. 
  • We also provide voice-only options for phone consults for those who do not meet the technical requirements for transmitting video or would prefer to consult without the video format.   

Keeping the community safe and practising social distancing has meant our dietetic clinic has needed to swiftly adapt to using telehealth consultations. We are pleased to inform our valued clients that early use of the telehealth interface has been very successful, and this presents an effective, new way of you being able to interact with our Dietitians. 

What are the technical requirements for a video consultation? 

You will need:

  • a device with an in-built camera or a webcam connected to your device 
  • a microphone 
  • an internet connection 
  • an e-mail account 

Other video consulting considerations

Here are thirteen considerations that we have found can make online video consultations more likely to be completed successfully without encountering technical problems:

  1. The device you choose for making a video call could be a PC, a laptop or notebook, a tablet (e.g. ipad) or a mobile phone. Your device will require a camera, a microphone, access to stable internet and a suitable internet browser to be able to participate in a video call with our dietitians.
  2. Telstra mobile devices seem to have a stable mobile data network for video calls.
  3. Ensure your device has adequate battery charge or power supply to complete the entire video call successfully. Appointment lengths vary between 20 minutes and 80 minutes depending on the time allocated at booking your appointment.  
  4. Be aware that mobile phones can heat up during a video call, so headphones may also be a helpful addition to your device set-up.
  5. A test call in advance of the appointment is one way to ensure technical problems are dealt with ahead of the appointment. Our receptionist will arrange this with you.
  6. The video call can only support web browsers Chrome or Firefox. Avoid Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers. If your default browser is not supported, copy the video call web link and paste it into a web browser that is recommended.
  7. If using a mobile device, avoid changing between Wi-Fi internet (like ADSL or NBN) and your mobile data network during an active video call. If the internet stability interrupts the video call quality, the dietitian will recommend ending the call first. Then make the necessary change to your internet source and re-enter the video call.  
  8. You will need to activate the camera and microphone on your device, so please ensure that you have the necessary permission from the owner of the device (i.e. work devices can have strong controls against modifying access permissions, talk to your work IT team if required)
  9. A web link will direct you to the video call, please ensure you check junk mail if you can’t find the email link.
  10. Try to find a quiet location for the video call to take place effectively.
  11. You can access the waiting room 5 minutes prior to your appointment.
  12. Follow the link emailed to you by your dietitian at the time of your appointment.
  13. If the video call fails to be a suitable option for the consultation, a voice-only phone call will act as a back-up communication method.