Changes to contact details

Kirkman Psychiatry and Telehealth Practice has a new Fax number.

Practices should Fax referrals to 03 62250408

Phone for Practice remains the same  03 62251672

Hobart newspaper article on Dr Ross Kirkman

Telehealth consultations were recently the subject of a well written article by The Mercury journalist Hannah Martin.

 

Online spin on the house call

A HOBART psychiatrist is Australia’s leading telehealth practitioner, responsible for 3 per cent of all web-based consultations last year.

Ross Kirkman carried out more than 1500 consultations last year using technology like Skype.

It means he treats patients in Tasmania’s northwest, east coast and interstate without leaving his Sandy Bay home.

Dr Kirkman said he used to spend eight hours each week travelling to Burnie.

“Initially (patients) were a bit sceptical, but once they’d done it once or twice, people have adapted to it easily,” he said.

“You also have patients who say ‘I find it easier to open up and talk to you when you’re not in the same room as me’.

“Some find it less anxiety provoking.”

Dr Kirkman said patients went to their GP for telehealth appointments, improving shared-care arrangements with doctors, who often sat in on consultations.

“They’re often very much involved in the whole process and get immediate feedback on my management plan for a patient and can start on it straight away,” he said.

Dr Kirkman said the set-up allowed him to see about 600 new patients each year and proved the value of the service to people in regional and rural areas, who have traditionally struggled to access medical services such as psychiatry.

Dr Kirkman is part of GP2U, Australia’s largest telehealth company, run out of Hobart by James Freeman.

Dr Freeman said the number of telehealth consultations is growing each year, with 65,000 consultations in 2013.

But with more than 20 million specialist consultations taking place the traditional way in Australia each year, he said telehealth was still “very much a drop in the ocean”.

Dr Freeman said the uptake of telehealth services fell well short of the previous federal government’s initial forecast of 500,000 annual specialist consultations.

“Telehealth has been a great idea that has just suffered from a dreadful implementation (by government),” he said.

Dr Freeman said he agitated to allow GPs to use telehealth services, making arrangements with chemists to allow patients to access scripts.

He said telehealth consultations had been extremely successful in treating mentally ill and overweight patients.

 

 

 

Important resource – the SANE Media Centre

The SANE Media Centre promotes and supports the accurate and responsible portrayal of mental illness and suicide within the Australian media.

The SANE Media Centre provides the media and the mental health sector with guidance about reporting and portrayal of mental illness and suicide-related issues. The SANE Media Centre achieves this by providing a ‘one-stop’ service of information, expert comment, advice and referral.

http://www.sane.org/sane-media

 

Valuable resource on Telehealth

Dr Victoria  Wade has written a great Telehealth handbook– downloadable from  the Unicare website at

http://www.e-unicare.com.au/about-us/

This is a valuable resource, (as is the  website) full of valid and relevant information regarding Telehealth in the Australian context.

A must read for GPs and clinics participating (or considering doing so) in Telehealth consultations.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my new website.

My name is Dr Ross Kirkman, I am a Psychiatrist and I operate a Telehealth Practice from Hobart Tasmania.

Telehealth refers to a doctor delivering patient care without being in direct face-to-face contact with the patient – so I can consult with patients from all over Australia. If you are a GP, Practice staff member, prospective patient, or just interested please take some time to look at the information provided on my website. Feel free to contact my office for more information.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.  Buddha.