Telehealth training coming to aged care

The program will develop nationally consistent and free how-to training for aged care homes.

A partnership of primary health networks around the country is developing a telehealth training program for residential aged care that will be rolled out to homes in the first half of this year.

The RACH Telehealth Training Program aims to develop nationally consistent and free training on how to provide telehealth in aged care homes with the needs and wellbeing of residents at its heart. The microlearning-based program targets residential aged care staff, visiting clinicians and practice-based clinicians.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network is leading the consortium partnership – which currently has 15 primary health networks in four states on board.

Andy Giddy

WVPHN acting chief executive officer Andy Giddy said the use of telehealth in aged care would continue to grow because it provided multiple benefits for both residents and clinicians.

“For [aged care] residents it reduces the need for unnecessary transfers to clinical services if they are unwell, frail or vulnerable. It benefits clinicians by enabling consultations in the resident’s usual environment, that can often provide clearer insight into their health condition and needs,” said Mr Giddy.

“In rural areas, where clinicians may have to travel long distances, it can also save time or allow access to a wider range of clinicians. Telehealth can also ensure a collaborative approach to care by including [residential aged care] nursing staff to contribute to the consultation.”

Library of 30 microlearning modules

Learning-design agency Obvious Choice – which has experience designing training programs for aged care clients – and its partners have been awarded the contract to deliver the training program.

The deal includes Obvious Choice providing PHNs with a library of 30 microlearning modules that feature authentic case studies, video mentoring and downloadable checklists. Simple animations and fact sheets will also be developed to engage residents, families and caregivers.

Obvious Choice managing director James Stack said this telehealth training would boost the provision of quality telehealth services in residential aged care.

James Stack

“The training is designed to build workforce confidence in how to deliver telehealth in a residential aged care setting using proven teaching techniques,” said Mr Stack.

“Providers will be able to load this microlearning onto their own learning platforms, which will make it easier and more straightforward to upskill their staff in five-minute bursts.”

The training is being developed in consultation with a PHN-led working group and advisory committee and expert advisors with telehealth and residential aged care experience. It is being designed to meet accreditation requirements for nurses and GPs.

Other PHNs involved in the project include: South Eastern Melbourne, Murray, Eastern Melbourne, North Western Melbourne and Gippsland in Victoria; Tasmania; Coordinare, Western NSW, Murrumbidgee and Healthy North Coast in New South Wales; and Gold Coast, Brisbane North, Northern Queensland and Darling Downs West Moreton in Queensland.

Email healthyageing@westvicphn.com.au to find out more about the program and register interest to receive the library of microlearning modules.

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Tags: Andy Giddy, James Stack, RACH telehealth training program, telehealth, Western Victoria Primary Health Network,

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