Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of using Telehealth?
• You receive a more comprehensive assessment than a phone call
• It offers better access to specialist care
• It can reduce waiting times for a clinic appointment or home visit
• You will have less travel time and costs

What are some examples of when I might receive a telehealth appointment?
• A Hospice Waikato or Rainbow Place nurse checking in on a patient between the time when they visit them in person
• Clinicians sharing information with a patient, family and/or carers
• A patient or carer wanting to ask questions or discuss any concerns
• Follow up after an outpatient appointment
• Follow up after being discharged from the Hospice Waikato Inpatient Unit

If I live in a rural area will I only be able to receive care by telehealth?
No - telehealth is only one option for how we deliver care. If a visit in-person is required, this will still be provided. Making contact using telehealth might mean we can stay in touch more regularly. A telehealth appointment will only happen if your Hospice Waikato professional considers it safe and suitable and you are happy to participate.

What is required for telehealth?
• A suitable device with a camera, microphone and speaker. Some examples would be a computer, an Apple iPad, iPhone or other smartphone or tablet device.
• Access to a reliable internet connection
• An email address

We can help you work out if the equipment and internet connection you have is suitable for you to have telehealth appointments.

NOTE: Poor internet or mobile connection may disrupt the audio or video connection.

Who will be present?
A telehealth appointment can take place between you at home and a Hospice staff member such as a nurse, doctor, counsellor or social worker at the Hospice.

There may be times when a hospice nurse, district nurse or general practitioner is at home with you and would like to consult with a hospice specialist using telehealth.

As with visits in-person, others may be present with you if you wish.

For patients receiving care from Rainbow Place (our Children and Young Person’s service), telehealth appointments will consider the age and abilities of the patient. Most often the telehealth connection will be with the parent/carer directly but with the child or young person present.

What happens in a telehealth appointment?
The Hospice Waikato or Rainbow Place staff member will send a link to connect you via a secure video conference (Zoom).

You will see yourself on the screen as well as your Hospice professional. Your Hospice professional will speak to you and ask questions, and you can discuss your health, concerns and questions as you would at a visit in-person.

You can share photos or a video during the telehealth appointment.

After the telehealth appointment the Hospice Waikato or Rainbow Place staff member will make notes in the patient management system just as they would if it had been a visit or conversation in-person.

How secure and private is telehealth?
The software telehealth uses is completely secure, encrypted and confidential.

The same privacy and confidentiality requirements that apply to in-person appointments or home visits apply to all telehealth appointments.

The appointment will not be recorded by either party involved in the call.

What will it cost?
Telehealth will use some of your internet download capacity or mobile data.

If your GP takes part, you will need to ask them if there are any costs to you.

When is telehealth available?
Currently telehealth appointments are only made available during normal working hours, Monday to Friday, and are scheduled by Hospice Waikato.

If you need to contact your Hospice professional out of hours or for an urgent situation, please call us on 07 859 1260.