At a time of great challenge amidst the crisis of COVID-19, the use of phone-based health services across Australia has been front and center.
To support consistency and confidence in the provision of health services over the phone, Standards Australia is encouraging those in the sector to look to AS 5205:2019, “Australian Health Contact Centres” to assist our health system across Australia.
“These are unprecedented times and we are in the midst of responding to a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before,” says Adrian O’Connell, CEO of Standards Australia. “Amongst the uncertainty, the one thing we can be sure of is that our national health system will be stretched to its limit.
“While some GPs and similar services have set up processes already to support patients in getting advice remotely, Standards Australia wants to take this opportunity to highlight there is guidance available, in the form of this Australian Standard, to assist in managing health contact centers for the Australian public,” O’Connell continues.
Telehealth services originated as a method to reach patients in remote locations, however, during the last 20 years it has evolved into other types of healthcare offerings. Health contact centers have developed as an effective and efficient tool to provide Australians with a range of health-related support, not only in rural and regional areas but also in metropolitan hubs and capital cities, particularly now with the challenges represented by COVID-19.
“In these challenging times there are steps we can all take to respond as a cohesive national community. Staying home if you are unwell is the advice, and we are hopeful this standard can make it possible for more people to receive medical advice without jeopardizing the health of the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers already working so hard,” concludes O’Connell.