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A brochure for consumers and carers on the Digital Telehealth Network
'Digital telehealth' is a general term, describing the remote delivery of health services via video and telecommunications technologies.
The SA Digital Telehealth Network provides the technology for clinicians and consumers to communicate face-to-face from different locations. Remote patients are able to receive health services conveniently, reducing time and travel requirements.
The SA Digital Telehealth Network greatly improves patient access to a range of clinical services, otherwise not offered in their locality. Country patients now have better access to metro-based specialist services from their local hospital or health centre; and the list of specialties is increasing.
The SA Digital Telehealth Network was launched in 2012, initially with 90 video units across most public country hospitals. The Network has significantly expanded, with over 400 video conferencing units situated in metropolitan and country health sites.
The Network is now used to deliver of a range of healthcare services across SA Health, including:
In 2019, the SA Digital Telehealth Network was used for over 12,000 clinical consumer encounters and over 24,000 video conferences were held, including clinical, operational, training and administrative communication.
Similar to any normal face-to-face consultation with a health professional, private or sensitive treatment issues can be discussed during a video conference consultation. Privacy and confidentially are maintained at all times.
Additional staff are not permitted in consultation rooms without patient consent, and consultations are not recorded. If you do not consent to using telehealth for accessing your health services, please speak to your local SA Health professional for more information.
Specialist telehealth consultations may be bulk-billed to Medicare if you are from an eligible remote area (RA 2 to 5), and more than 15km away from your nearest provider. See the Doctor Connect site to determine your eligibility.
For more information about the Medicare Benefits Schedule and telehealth, see the Department of Human Services website.
Telehealth allows GPs and other health professionals to conveniently provide services and patient consultations via video conferencing.
Rural GPs can use the SA Digital Telehealth Network locally from a country location when consulting with a public health specialist to support care delivery to public health consumers. Alternatively, rural GPs can use a privately procured internet connection and a standards-based software application to link to the Digital Telehealth Network.
For more information see the Telehealth frequently asked questions for GPs.
Some of the other uses of the Digital Telehealth Network by SA Health include:
The SA Digital Telehealth Network is making a significant difference to South Australians by delivering remote clinical services closer to home.
If you’ve had a telehealth consultation, please complete a feedback form and let us know how it went or you can print the feedback form (184KB) and send it to us at SADigitalTelehealthNetwork@sahealth.sa.gov.au.
For further information on the Digital Telehealth Network, email HealthSADigitalTelehealthNetwork@sa.gov.au or refer to the following web pages: