Guidelines for interprofessional collaboration between general practitioners and other medical specialists providing video consultations

Standard process for a video consultation
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GPs and distant specialists should agree on a standard process for video consultations.

Typically, these are the standard steps prior to a video consultation.

  • The GP sends a referral letter to the distant specialist including the rationale for proposing a video consultation and the proposed clinical support person if clinical support is indicated.
  • The video consultation booking is confirmed with all parties in advance by the designated coordinators at each end.
  • The interoperability of technical equipment is tested and confirmed in advance.
  • The distant specialist gives advance notice of particular clinical support that may be required including preparation, additional health information, medical consumables and medical equipment.
  • The patient is advised to arrive 15 minutes prior to the video consultation to complete patient identification protocols, undertake any preparation and facilitate the efficiency of the video consultation process.

Typically, these are the standard steps during a video consultation.

  • All parties at the distant specialist-end introduce themselves.
  • All parties at the patient-end introduce themselves.
  • The patient provides three patient identifiers for the benefit of the distant specialist, confirms their prior consent for any recording of still or moving images for clinical purposes, and confirms their prior consent for the recording of the video consultation if exceptional circumstances apply unless a copy of the patient’s written consent to any recording has been sent to the distant specialist prior to the consultation.
  • The GP outlines the reason for the referral to the distant specialist.
  • The GP provides clinical support at the patient-end as required by the distant specialist.
  • There is an opportunity for private discussion between the patient and distant specialist (if required and deemed clinically safe).
  • There is an opportunity for private discussion between the referring GP and the distant specialist (out of courtesy to the patient, if required this would generally happen at the beginning of the video consultation before the patient is present or at the end of the video consultation once the patient has left).

Typically, these are the standard steps at the conclusion of a video consultation.

  • The distant specialist provides a verbal summary to confirm any diagnosis (where possible), agreed diagnostic terminology and ongoing management.
  • The distant specialist summarises which clinician will be responsible for specified follow-up action.
  • The GP and distant specialist reconfirm the follow-up action for which they are responsible.
  • The distant specialist invites any final points of clarification.
  • The GP and distant specialist make their own consultation notes and the distant specialist sends the referring GP a response letter to confirm the decisions made at the video consultation.