Changes at Green Square Health

- 4 April 2020

Dear GS Health community,

Firstly, the team would like to thank you for placing your trust in us to look after your healthcare needs. We know you have a choice, and it means a great deal that you chose us.
In order to honour that trust we’ve had to make changes at GS Health to keep you, our community, healthy through this process.

Safety

Before all else we have decided to focus on safety. This means several things, but firstly we’ve had to reduce all non urgent face to face contact between healthcare providers and staff.
Of course our health doesn’t stop because of the pandemic, so we’ve replaced our face to face consultations with telehealth. This is either via phone (the majority of consultations) or using video.

As these changes have been thrust upon us all, we’re navigating the best way to deliver video-consultations while keeping your personal information secure, and finding the most effortless method of doing this. At present we are using a combination of gpconsults.com.au and Zoom Cloud Meetings, where your doctor will initiate a meeting with a randomised meeting ID, and password. But please check our website again when we have settled on an ongoing method.

Safety also means that we’re postponing any non urgent procedures including

  • Iron infusions
  • Routine hormonal contraception implant insertion and removals
  • Routine hormonal IUD insertion and removals
  • Routine cervical screening if people had been up to date and had normal screening in the past
  • Non essential travel vaccinations
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Steroid injections for scars, acne, and joints
  • Ear syringing
  • Routine spirometry
  • Use of nebulisers (in urgent situations this will be replaced with spacer use)
  • Routine ECG

Essential face to face consultations

On some occasions, it is important that your doctor does see you in person. Usually self limiting conditions that  haven’t settled in the expected timeframe, or those that don’t fit a regular pattern may be some cases.

Young children represent another diagnostic challenge at times.

In order to account for this, it is important we first conduct a telephone consult if you feel you or your family member need to be seen in person. We encourage you to book this online as soon as possible, then call our reception team to flag that you have an urgent issue. They will raise it with your doctor, and possibly the nurse, in order to ensure your concerns are addressed.

If we feel it is necessary and safe for you to come in, we’ll arrange the time and inform  you when to arrive and the procedures required.

Hours

As quite a few changes have been thrust upon us, it has resulted in a lot of administrative work for the doctors and admin team to ensure the safe transmission of documents, entering consultation notes, and safety netting that things aren’t missed. In order to do this we have had to reduce from 8am-7pm weeknights, to 9am-5pm.

We understand that this would have reduced the available consultation slots per day, so our clinical team has increased their availability on other days so you can still talk to your regular doctor.

Dr Daniel Chanisheff has had to reduce his hours in order to help oversee all the changes, regulations, policies and procedures, and spend time procuring infrastructure in order to make this all happen. We apologise to his patients, and kindly ask that if they are unable to make an appointment with him to kindly book with one of his colleagues. We all do work as a team and have access to the same notes, and can always ask regarding specific issues. We thank you for your patience.

Your regular health

We know that it can seem that all everyone is talking about and thinking about is COVID-19 and the economy (and maybe Tiger King on Netflix – we’ll try watch it soon), but life still does go on no matter how much things may have changed.

Your preventative healthcare is more important than ever, and finding ways to stay both physically and mentally healthy is paramount. If you were thinking about talking to your doctor about making a change in your health, increasing activity, addressing risk factors, stopping smoking, those consultations are still happening. Please don’t feel that we are only focused on COVID-19.

The best way to tackle COVID-19, other than social distancing and handwashing, is to be as healthy as we can possibly be during this time. Stopping smoking, addressing our chronic issues and illnesses, and staying physically active can mean the difference between mild and devastating illness.

For our patients with chronic health conditions, we will endeavour to continue with your disease management plans to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks. Our nurse will reach out to you in due time to discuss how your condition is going, and your doctor will talk to you about it and help organise scripts and referrals after this.

Preparing for your consultation

If you have booked an appointment with your doctor, please ensure that you are in a place with good telephone reception, in a quieter environment, and if using video have plenty of good lighting.

Clearly state your email address so your doctor can send you any necessary documentation. Using the NATO phonetic alphabet can be greatly helpful (and a great skill to have anyway)

If you have prescriptions that need to be filled, please tell us which pharmacy you usually go to. For those that live in the Green Square/Waterloo/Zetland area, we have developed a fairly robust process for getting your scripts to Terry White East Village, and Danks Street Discount Pharmacy.

We will fax or email your prescription to the pharmacy at the end of the day after having built up a batch of prescriptions. We then deliver the original prescription to the respective pharmacies by post or in person once a week.

We can email the prescription to you instead, but please be aware we can not do both as it creates a significantly increased workload on our super hard working administrative staff.
Before calling to check where your prescription is, please wait until after 5pm on the day of your consult, and check your spam folders first.

Childhood immunisations

If your child is due for their routine immunisations and developmental check, it is vital that these continue to occur.
In order to keep children and families safe, the following precautions have been taken:

  • All childhood immunisations are held at specific times of the week, when other traffic and movement into the clinic is limited
  • Your doctor and nurse will be wearing gloves and a surgical mask
  • The room will have environmental cleaning between each patient use (Australian Dept of Health Guidelines on Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for
    health and residential care facilities)
  • We ask that only one parent or caregiver is present if it is a single child to be immunised
  • We ask that you delay immunisation if your child, yourself, or anyone living in the same household are unwell with a respiratory illness or fever

Influenza immunisations

This year the influenza season coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is even more important that those at increased risk of illness are immunised.
As such we have changed the way we usually give the influenza vaccine, and more information is available on our other post here (2020 Influenza Vaccines).

 

We thank you again for your understanding, your ongoing support, and your words of encouragement.
We want to be here long term to continue looking after the community in the best way we can, and hope we can get back to normal operating procedures as soon as it is safe to do so.

Dr Daniel Chanisheff

May 23

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