This article was first published 12 January on Australian Doctor News (AusDoc).
A GP has launched a ‘no-touch’ respiratory clinic that relies on software and sensors rather than having reception staff on site.
Touted as the first of its kind in Australia, the idea is to reduce the clinic’s headcount and do as much of the work as possible remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
The brainchild of Melbourne GP Dr Todd Cameron, there is no waiting room and only a GP and nurse inside the building.
Patients are meant to enter the clinic using a remote doorbell feature, where they will identify themselves and be directed to an available treatment room.
A receptionist working from home will open the door remotely.
The patient will then be seen separately by a nurse and a doctor in full PPE, who will use a completely different set of doors and corridors.
“The intent here is to do everything we can to minimise the need for the patient — and the doctor and nurse — to physically touch anything,” Dr Cameron said.
“We want to minimise the number of people in the building and to transition patients through it as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality of care.
“We know that cross-infection is a real issue for facilities like respiratory clinics, particularly with the COVID-19 case numbers as they are today.”