GP2U adds patient videos to hep C information package

Tasmanian-based telehealth provider GP2U has developed three patient videos explaining the new hepatitis C medications that became available on the PBS yesterday, adding to the decision support tool it has created for GPs to help raise awareness of what is a remarkable breakthrough in treating the virus.

GP2U is also able to organise the mandatory specialist approval for the prescription as part of its offering to patients who choose to use its telehealth service if their regular GP is not available or the demand for appointments at liver clinics is too great. Approximately 230,000 Australians have the virus.

While the telehealth consults are not Medicare funded as they are just between a GP and a patient, GP2U says the process of gaining a prescription can be speeded up by it handling the necessary specialist sign-off.

Healthcare organisations are free to use the videos and GP2U is happy to provide embed codes or the videos in any format. They include a short animated version, a 90-second short featuring GP2U founder James Freeman, who also designed the decision support tool, and a and a 10-minute Q&A version.

Many GPs are unhappy with the requirement to consult an infectious disease specialist, gastroenterologist or hepatologis before being able to prescribe – Dr Freeman is not the first to call it an insult – and there are fears that patient access to the medications will be held up by red tape, workflow problems and the relative scarcity of these types of specialists.

Dr Freeman's decision support tool allows GPs to calculate which drugs to prescribe and for how long based on genotype, viral load and fibrosis level, but also provides documentation that can be used to show specialists that all of the boxes have been ticked.

The decision support tool for GPs is available from the GP2U website and the FixHepC website.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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