This webinar will focus on practical issues associated with delivering COVID-19 telehealth consultations, in particular telepsych consultations.

The temporary COVID-19 telehealth item numbers, which came into being on 13th March 2020 as a way of protecting the population from infection, have opened the way to remote consulting for many GPs and allied mental health practitioners who had previously not delivered mental health care in this way. It is important that these items are used effectively and responsibly to ensure quality care delivery and avoid huge cost to the community.

This webinar will focus on practical issues associated with delivering telehealth consultations, in particular telepsych consultations. We will discuss the appropriate use of the item numbers, the differences between face to face and online care, the differences in the way we need to approach COVID-19 anxiety and health anxiety generally and the ways in which eMH resources can best be integrated into telehealth consultations.

Learning outcomes:

  • Describe the Medicare item numbers for telehealth specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and define the situations in which they can be used.
  • Discuss the special considerations in using online consulting.
  • Identify eMH resources that could be useful to incorporate into telehealth consultations.
  • Describe some ways in which they might go about incorporating eMH resources in their remote consultations.

The webinar series

The webinar series examines some of the online mental health treatment programs that GPs need to know about, focusing on evidence-based programs that have been developed in Australia. The evidence around the efficacy and usefulness of different programs will be discussed along with practical aspects of using the programs.

Summary:

  • e-Mental Health programs are a useful adjunct to mental health treatment in primary care
  • there is good evidence that patient outcomes improve with the use of e-Mental Health programs
  • a variety of locally-developed e-Mental Health programs are available
  • GPs need to be familiar with the programs their patients are using and be able to recommend the use of these programs appropriately.

Audience

GPs and GP registrars, psychologists and allied mental health practitioners, in fact any health professional with an interest in improving outcomes for patients with mental health conditions.

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