ANU Telehealth in Primary Care Study

Telehealth has transformed the way people in Australia have engaged with primary care. Telephone and video consultations have become more common, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing technology. It is important to understand the impact of wide-scale Medicare-funded telehealth on access to care and the quality of care patients receive, particularly among at-risk people and medically-underserved populations.

This project includes both quantitative and qualitative components. The quantitative component uses large-scale linked data available through the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) and the qualitative component engages clinicians and consumers through interviews and workshops. The project aims to address the following research questions:

  1. Has primary health care uptake and quality, as measured by indicators of accessibility, continuity, appropriateness and coordination, changed over time concerning whole-of-population Medicare Benefits Schedule telehealth initiatives, factoring in the COVID-19 context?
  2. How do these outcomes vary according to patient characteristics, particularly concerning those that identify as at-risk or underserved populations, based on age, socioeconomic circumstances and health status?
  3. How do consumers and clinicians experience and manage safety in telehealth consultations?
  4. What is the value accorded to consumers of different elements of telehealth quality i.e. safety, accessibility, continuity and acceptability, and under what circumstances do trade-offs occur?

Funding

The project is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund. MRFF Grant #2006309—Optimising primary health care in Australia: multi-method whole-of-population investigation of the impact of telehealth on uptake and quality of care.

    Support Officers

    Project Team

    Principal Investigator

    Associate Researchers

    Professor Rosemary Korda

    Associate Professor Dan Chateau

    Chief Investigators

    Dr Nina Lazarevic

    Professor Christine Phillips

    Dr Kalinda Griffiths

    Dr Danielle Butler

    Dr M Shahdaat B Sayeed

    Professor Emily Banks

    Ms Hsei Di Law

    Professor Kirsty Douglas

    Ms Kay Soga

    Dr Jason Agostino

    Tsheten Tsheten

    Professor Emily Lancsar

    Rachael Eddowes

    Associate Professor Grace Joshy

    Rachel Freeman Robinson

    Dr Jane Desborough

    Ms Jasmine Lykissas
    Dr Jennifer Welsh Support Officer

    Associate Investigators

    Ms Susan Trevenar

    Professor Sally Hall Dykgraaf  
    Dr Anne Parkinson  
     

    Governance

    The Telehealth in Primary Care research project is overseen by a Steering Committee, led by Professor Rosemary Korda and Professor Christine Phillips, comprising of:

    • Dr Dawn Casey—Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
    • Professor Patricia Davidson—Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Wollongong
    • Professor Michael Kidd—Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
    • Professor Sarah Larkins—Health Systems Strengthening, James Cook University
    • Mr Paul McBride—First Assistant Secretary, Benefits Integrity, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
    • Mr Daniel Weber—Digital Health Policy Advisor, Consumers Health Forum of Australia