Digital health to support primary care provision during a global pandemic

Elizabeth Sturgiss, Jane Desborough, Sally Hall Dykgraaf, Sethunya Matenge, Garang Dut, Stephanie Davis, Lucas De Toca, Paul Kelly, Michael Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia has seen the implementation of digital health technologies to support continuity of high-quality primary care provision. Digital health innovation has been used to operationalise the nation's pandemic preparedness principles by reducing risk of infection to both healthcare workers and at-risk patients, sustaining care for chronic and acute health conditions, and supporting the mental health of the population. In this perspective piece, we document the Australian Federal government's digital health response to ensure the ongoing delivery of high-quality primary care. This includes the implementation of telehealth, point-of-care testing, electronic records and e-prescriptions, national primary care data collection and analysis, and digital communication. Digital health has been a critical element of the pandemic response and paves the way for future primary care provision during disasters and emergencies. Further research is needed to capture the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of these innovations for both patients and primary care practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-272
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • communication
  • COVID-19
  • digital health
  • disaster response
  • pandemic
  • prevention
  • primary care
  • telehealth

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