Telehealth Services now available
To help us fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists are rolling out more comprehensive options to help ensure that your care is not compromised while you self-isolate or are in quarantine.
It is a way of delivering health services remotely, either by telephone or video conferencing. It enables health services to be brought to patients who are unable to be in physical contact with a health care provider.
From 30th March, all Australians gained access to Telehealth services.
Through Telehealth we are able to keep in contact with our patients, provide prescriptions, monitor conditions and for some, diagnose patients in order to treat them appropriately. For example, an Ophthalmologist may be able to diagnose an eye condition via a video call. The use of telemedicine has been on the rise in Australia for quite some time however with the progression of recent events due to Covid-19 many more practices are beginning to utilise it.
Currently, this service is bulk-billed to patients with a valid referral. It is being offered to anyone who is in home quarantine as a result of current national coronavirus isolation criteria. It is also available to people who have been identified as being at high risk from the virus, even if healthy including:
- People over 70 years of age
- People with immunocompromised systems
- People with chronic conditions
- Indigenous people over 50 years of age
- Parents with new babies
- Pregnant women
How will Telehealth work at Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists?
At Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists, an Orthoptist from our clinical team will be screening patients to ensure that they are suitable for a telehealth consult. Unlike other specialties there are some conditions that will mean patients are still required to be examined in person, however there may be scope for patients to defer their physical appointment and speak to their doctor over the phone as an interim measure.
We are using a program at Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists called Doxy.me for all of our Telehealth consultations. Patients who have been booked in for a Telehealth consult will receive a text message to direct them to the program.
To help us assess you or your child’s condition we may require an at home vision assessment to be completed prior to the telehealth consult taking place. This can be done either via a free app or if you have access to a printer via a printed sheet of paper. You will need a room that is at least 3 meters long. For the app you will need another person to assist you with changing the letters. If you are needing to assess your child’s vision and your child does not recognize letters, then using the app may be best as there are options for pictures or letters. Alternatively, you can print two sheets of paper and use one for matching and one for testing.
Please see below our instructional video on performing at home vision assessments, presented by our Ophthalmologist Dr Caroline Catt.
To make a Telehealth appointment or to ensure that you are eligible for an ophthalmic consultation via Telehealth, please call 02 92412913. Please note, our phones are currently being answered by our staff remotely & so longer than average call times may be experienced. You are very welcome at this time to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our friendly team members will get back to you as soon as we can.