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Waikato DHB teams up with Healthline to increase access to healthcare for patients after hours

Healthline is supporting the Waikato DHB’s SmartHealth online doctor service to expand the support it offers patients.

When someone from the Waikato DHB catchment area calls the nurse-led Healthline service for health advice on an evening or weekend and the nurse deems it clinically appropriate, they will be offered the opportunity to talk to an online SmartHealth doctor.

The SmartHealth doctor can provide self management advice, prescribe medication in certain situations and fax the prescription to their local pharmacy, advise whether they need to visit a hospital Emergency Department, urgent care clinic or general practice out of hours service or refer them to their GP the next day.

The Waikato DHB’s SmartHealth service was launched last year as a way for patients to connect online with health professionals from their smartphone, tablet or home computer.

SmartHealth also provides:

  • a knowledge base of doctor-approved health information on topics, conditions, treatments and research.
  • the ability to ask a healthcare professional a question 24/7.
  • online outpatient appointments with hospital specialists without leaving your home or office, if appropriate for your condition.

Patients don’t need to be already signed up to SmartHealth to access the service, the Healthline team will text callers who meet the clinical criteria, a link and they can sign up straight away and speak to a doctor then and there.

Healthline have integrated Waikato DHB’s clinical criteria for referring patients to online doctor consultation services.

“Healthline is delivered in partnership with DHBs and we are pleased to be able to support this local Waikato initiative to connect appropriate patients with a Doctor.” said Andrew Slater, CEO of Healthline.

Dr Damian Tomic, Clinical Director of Primary and Integrated Care for Waikato DHB said: “We’re really pleased to join forces with Healthline as it improves access for all our Waikato residents to get good medical advice and can hopefully in some cases prevent that person attending the hospital Emergency Department unnecessarily.” 

What is SmartHealth?

SmartHealth is an online health service currently available to Waikato residents. It enables patients to connect with a health professional from wherever they are using their smartphone, tablet or home computer. It’s like having a clinician in your pocket.

SmartHealth Facts

  • SmartHealth has been up and running since September 2016.
  • On average 30-40 consults per week are already delivered by the team of online out of hours doctors.
  • Consults are available by video, voice or online chat.
  • Available Monday to Friday 6.00pm – 11.00pm, and 8.00am – 8.00pm Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays for residents of the Waikato region.
  • Over 7000 Waikato patients are registered on the platform.
  • Goal is to improve access to healthcare, reduce unnecessary visits to the hospital Emergency Department and improve consumer experience of Waikato health services.

What are the benefits?

  • It’s free.
  • People don’t have to leave their home to see a doctor out of hours or have their hospital outpatient appointment..
  • People can access a range of health information or ask a question through the app 24/7.

Healthline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 611 116.

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