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Virtual Care (VC), also known as “telehealth”, safely connects patients with health professionals to deliver care when and where it is needed.

VC does not replace face-to-face appointments or in-person care and are clinical consultations that can be offered to patients where a physical examination might not be necessary.

Potential benefits of VC for patients, carers and health care professionals

VC can help patients to receive more appropriate care in a timely fashion, and provides benefits for all patients, no matter where they live. It supports patients and families to:

• Receive care closer to home, their family and community
• Have increased convenience and choice
• Have reduced travel time and cost
• Have more equitable and timely access to services to improve continuity of care
• Have access to specialist services otherwise not available in their area.
• Have ability to connect with their loved ones through technology.

VC supports health care professionals by:

• Improving access to specialist services and support
• Improving clinical networks and professional collaboration
• Facilitating flexible service delivery models and multidisciplinary care.

Virtual care supports NSW Health's vision for a health system that is patient-centred and improves experiences and health outcomes. For more information click here.

Where clinically appropriate, Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) encourages health professionals to offer virtual care services to patients. However, regardless of the modality utilised to deliver care, the expectation is to provide, safe, high-quality, person centred, and effective care to all our patients. 

Culturally Responsive Virtual Care in Far West LHD

FWLHD is committed to providing culturally-responsive VC services through a shared decision making approach with our patients from Aboriginal populations, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and people with disadvantage or disability.  Virtual Care has a capability to provide an equitable service delivery mechanism and enable access to high-quality, person-centred care to address their specific healthcare needs.

Key principles for effective engagement with Aboriginal people has its’ foundations in our trust, respect and recognition of Aboriginal  culture and diversity, holistic approaches for better health outcomes with cognisance to the associated role of social determinants of health, partnerships and participation of the communities in their own healthcare decision-making.

Virtual Care - Modalities

The following telehealth modalities are used by FWLHD providers to support patient care:

Telephone - Audio connection between two or more people.
Video conferencing - Video connection of two or more people allowing all participants to speak to each other, see each other and in some cases exchange data simultaneously.
Store and forward - A mode of transmission involving patient data that has been acquired and provided via email or clinical app to another provider for advice or management.
Remote monitoring - Using technology to collect and send medical and healthcare data to an app, device or service outside the traditional clinical setting.

Information for Healthcare Professionals and FWLHD Staff

FWLHD encourages all our healthcare professionals to be creative, culturally-responsive and flexible to integrate virtual care models into their clinical practice, determining the most appropriate modality to support the clinical needs of the patient. All our doctors are required to practice virtual care in accordance with the applicable National Board’s regulatory standards, codes and guidelines.  Far West LHD offers a robust on-boarding process for virtual care. Please contact our VC Team for more information. 

We endorse all VC process protocols recommended by NSW Health and the Agency of Clinical Innovation (ACI). We also acknowledge that ACI plays an important role in leading innovative clinical uses of technology in partnership with eHealth NSW, Local Health Districts and Speciality Health Networks. This includes sharing VC use cases and models of care across the health sector network to inspire and support system-wide integration and implementation of VC.

Detailed VC resources for all NSW Health Staff (including healthcare professionals) can be accessed here. 

Note: Please enter your email then Stafflink number and Password to access Virtual Care Central which is our Central Information Hub for VC resources.

PEXIP Video Conferencing Guidelines and Technology Testing and Troubleshooting Information can be found on My Health Learning. Please login to My HETI and search 'PEXIP' to access this information or you can also find the PEXIP User Guide here.

NOTES: FWLHD currently uses Pexip technology for video conferencing however a more advanced and improved version (MyVirtualCare) has been launched across NSW State and will be introduced by the district at an appropriate time. You will be kept informed, provided with training and supports when this occurs.

For more information on Virtual Care, please click here 

Information for Patients, Carers and Families

Clinical appropriateness of patients for virtual consultations will be determined by the healthcare professional within their scope of practice and based on patient suitability and care treatment required.

All FWLHD patients can request their treating doctor for a virtual consultation.

Patients booked in for virtual care consultations will be provided with all information prior to the appointment to allow them to take an informed decision to participate.

Informed consent from patients is imperative to utilise virtual care modalities for all clinical services delivered in the FWLHD and the treating doctor will ensure that this is assured.  Consent could be implied (patient participation in the virtual consultation) or expressed (verbal/ documented). The patient reserves a right to withdraw consent at any time including during a virtual consultation.

FWLHD will make all necessary arrangements for virtual consultations scheduled by us, including organising clinical support (e.g. Nurse, Allied Health Support Worker, Medical Officer or Aboriginal Liaison Officer or Practitioner) at patient end, if required to undertake observations to connect to the virtual clinics from the health service or home.

For detailed information, please click here.

Patient Brochure can be found here.

FWLHD currently uses Pexip technology for video conferencing, you can find a Pexip User Guide here..

Mental Health Drug & Alcohol (MHDA) VC Resources

Getting the most out of your virtual care appointment

Clinicians - Using Videoconferencing for Mental Health Consulations - CLICK HERE.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare: National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health Standards - CLICK HERE.





Far West Local Health District - Important Contacts Information

If you have any technical issues or would like to cancel/reschedule your virtual care appointment, please contact the service who organised your appointment.

Virtual Care Feedback for Patients, Carers and Families

Please share your feedback at CONTACT US. 

Or submit an electronic Health Concerns Form at FWLHD Health Concerns Form