Telehealth Funding a Critical Success for Several Respect Homes

Alcheringa, Cohuna Village, St John's, Tongala Memorial |

Senior man with a laptop

In a great result for several of our aged care homes, Respect has recently been successful in attaining important grant funding which promises to help transform our approach to telehealth and will have subsequent health benefits for our residents.

Cohuna Village, Alcheringa, Tongala Memorial and St John’s have all been granted funding via the Murray Primary Health Network; and Avonlea and Coates have both been successful in acquiring funding support from the Western Health Primary Network.

The grants are the result of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and its focus on increasing the availability and use of telehealth for aged care residents across the country. Grants are aimed at supporting homes to acquire and use telehealth consultation facilities and technologies, so that their residents have increased access to clinically appropriate care from healthcare professionals.

Brett Menzies, Respect’s Chief of Residential Aged Care, said that the funding will play an integral role in equipping our homes with sufficient IT infrastructure and telehealth equipment, and the end result will be even better care for our residents. 

“Especially considering the changing landscape of medical care in rural and regional settings, the need for timely access to primary healthcare via telehealth has never been more important,” he said.

“Not only will these grants allow us to advance our technologies at the several sites who achieved funding, but it gives us an opportunity to further develop our organisation’s approach to telehealth and create a blueprint for future implementation and best practice across the board.”

Advancements in telehealth will provide several key benefits for our homes, including: 

  • Allowing residents to consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals remotely, which can be particularly beneficial for those who have difficulty leaving the facility or have mobility issues. 
  • Reducing the need for residents to be transported to a healthcare facility for appointments, which can be costly, time-consuming and unnecessary.
  • Improving communication between healthcare providers by allowing them to share information and collaborate more easily, which can lead to better coordination of care and improved outcomes for residents.

The grant funding will be used at each site to support areas of specific need, considering different levels of telehealth readiness and capability. For example, some sites will require an increase in equipment, while others need greater infrastructure enhancements.

As part of the eventual roll-out process, Respect’s care staff will participate in technology training, including video conferencing, remote monitoring, electronic health records, and data security.

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