A specialist primary care service with a staff of 40 general practitioners is improving medical access and services to over 4,000 aged care residents in 50 facilities around Australia.
GenWise offers GPs a mobile clinic platform to record patient information, link to facility records and provide billing information for patients they visit and care for in residential aged care.
The organisation aims to provide consistency and structure to GPs delivering care to residents, who get access to the same doctor for their weekly or as-required visits.
The arrangement benefits residents, facilities and doctors alike, said Dr Sebastian Rees who formed the company with Dr Troye Wallett five years ago in Adelaide.
“The resident who chooses a GenWise GP can make appointments directly and it is bulkbilled for their care, which includes regular consultations and out of hours care,” Dr Rees told Australian Ageing Agenda.
Facilities can rely on GPs to attend to medical issues sooner, spend more time with patients and families in the planning of their admission as well as having critical end-of-life discussions, he said.
“The facility knows the GP will turn up for case management meetings with staff and family as needed, that the doctor and GenWise’s nurse practitioner is only a phone call away for a quick query and that they will receive immediate input into patient records for each visit.
“The GP has reduced paperwork with a ready reference to patient records and benefits from GenWise’s ongoing professional education and contact with a community of other GPs from around the country,” Dr Rees said.
GenWise is used mostly to see patients in aged care, but also for those residing in independent living units and their own homes.
Dr Rees said the set up saves time and allows for better remuneration, which enables them to attract more GPs into the sector.
“We can offer them collaborative arrangements with facilities. Most also work elsewhere but they all want to work with older people,” Dr Rees said.
Facilities are saving nursing hours through more proactive preventative care and no longer need to spend hours trying to arrange GP visits.
‘A fantastic service’
Helping Hand Aged Care’s North Adelaide manager Marcia Penn said she valued GenWise’s service to her 156 residents in two facilities.
“They provide a fantastic service with regular sessions, after-hours service, case management, phone advice, and a nurse practitioner,” Ms Penn said.
“We contact them via email and their tablets give us immediate input to patient records with no misinterpretation and confusion that often occurs with handwritten notes.
“They all provide a great support for our staff, compared to locums who you might wait hours for, and GPs who have busy practices.”
As they specialise in aged care, the doctors are knowledgeable, she said.
“We’re proactive on avoiding hospital admissions and their service helps this objective,” Ms Penn said.
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