As rapid growth of digital capability and accessibility continue, health contact centres have been taking strides to provide additional means for Australians to access quality health care and health information through the numerous telehealth services available.
Proving the need for this type of support, in 2017/18, an average of about 22,000 patients a day visited an Australian public hospital emergency department.
AS 5205:2019, Australian Health ContactCentres has been developed to guide the care consumers can expect to receive from health contact centres and to assist in providing a consistent approach to healthcare delivery across Australia.
“This new standard is the first of its kind within the health contact care area and had the strong support and collaboration of each States’ Health Department as well as other industry experts,” said CEO of Standards Australia, Dr Bronwyn Evans.
“This new standard will positively impact the Australian healthcare landscape. It is now possible for consumers and service providers to have more confidence in health contact centres - to ensure they are providing and receiving telehealth that is of the highest quality and is clinically sound,” said spokesperson for Healthdirect Australia, Maureen Robinson.
Telehealth services originated as a method to reach patients in remote locations, however over the last 20 years it has evolved into other types of healthcare offerings. Health contact centres have developed as an effective and efficient tool to provide Australians with a range of health-related support, not only in rural and regional areas but also in metropolitan hubs and capital cities.
“Health contact centres provide advice to the Australian public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The assistance provided ranges from information, advice, triage, treatment and many other health services. We are very proud to play a role supporting the Australian public health system,” Dr Evans continued.
 Emergency department care 2017–18 – Australian Hospital Statistics