Hybrid healthcare works to ease pressure on providers


Registered Nurses delivering online consults to aged care facilities with Emergency Consult (Image Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, December 7, 2023

Emergency departments are struggling to cope across the nation and a ground-breaking telehealth provider might have the perfect solution in sight.

‘Emergency Consult’ is building a new era of hybrid health care from its Hamilton headquarters where patients can video chat with a doctor within minutes, any time, from anywhere, providing Kiwis with an alternative route to care.

The company won the Company-X Innovation Award at this year’s Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards held at Globox Arena (earlier known as Claudelands Event Centre).

It was a day of big wins for the team as their CEO Jenni Falconer was also recognised as the ‘Emerging Leader of the Year’ while the business received the coveted Innovation Award.

About Emergency Consult

Emergency Consult provides 24-hour urgent care remotely.

Established by a team of emergency medicine veterans, the service provides web-based video consults on demand. In the three years it has been operating, Emergency Consult has proved to be popular, not only with the New Zealand public but also with the many healthcare providers who leverage the on-call service.

Emergency Consult’s team of Emergency Medicine doctors provide virtual support to hospital EDs, rural clinics, nurse-led clinics, and pharmacies. A team of senior Registered Nurses provide Covid-19 care, acute care triage, and aged care support.

Emergency Consult is working alongside care providers, easing pressure from vulnerable health services. Remote doctors support hospital emergency departments, rural clinics, ambulances, and pharmacies.

Emergency Consult Co-founders Dr Martyn Harvey, CEO Jenni Falconer and Dr Giles Chanwai (Image Supplied)

Emergency Consult Chief Executive Jenni Falconer said, “I am passionate about health and wholeheartedly believe in what we are doing. Everyone at Emergency Consult is working hard to make access to urgent care easy. With over 80% of New Zealanders carrying a smartphone, we figured we could turn the tables and bring specialist help out of the hospital or after-hours clinic and deliver it where and when you need it.”

Ms Falconer said that the telehealth service has been emerging internationally as a cost-effective and convenient means of delivering health care, and they were going a step further by offering 24-hour on-demand care.

“We are always looking at where the next need is. We know there is an acute shortage and high requirement of support in the mental health service, paediatrics, and palliative care,” she said.

About the Award

Emergency Consult was one of a record 30 entries into the innovation award category at the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Awards.

“I am humbled. It is a privilege to work with passionate doctors, nurses and our operations team which shares the drive to make healthcare better. While I am blown away by this acknowledgement, I have not done it alone. I am blessed with a large team of friends and colleagues who have helped to make Emergency Consult a reality,” Ms Falconer said.

Company-X co-founder Jeremy Hughes, who presented the Innovation Award to Ms Falconer said, “The links between innovation, business growth and regional economic growth are very well established. Innovation is the lifeblood of business growth, and this year, I had the privilege of being a judge for this award, and I can attest to the extraordinary calibre of the finalists. Their ground-breaking ideas and unwavering commitment to progress truly embody the spirit of innovation.”

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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