Eastern Melbourne PHN – After Hours Evaluation of MED (Victoria, Australia)

Providing evidence-based recommendations to EMPHN and service optimisation insights to MED through high-quality evaluations, ensuring continuous alignment with healthcare system demands and patient care needs. 

The client

The Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (EMPHN) covers the East and North-Eastern areas of Melbourne, spanning twelve Local Government Areas. The catchment area comprises 1.62 million people and is socially and culturally diverse. Nearly one-third of people speak a language other than English, and 33% of the residents are born overseas. 19% of the population are over the age of 65 and 8% live alone. The area is also home to 10,000 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

The challenge

In 2021, amidst the evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, EMPHN sought to evaluate a commissioned service: My Emergency Doctor (MED). This service provides patients with telehealth access to emergency specialists outside standard office hours. Awareness of the MED service was raised through partnerships with local aged care facilities, general practices, and pharmacies. Regular engagement and usage were driven by the convenience of access to clinicians and the ease of navigating a user-friendly platform.

With the three-year contract between EMPHN and MED coming to an end, both parties sought to identify issues and gaps in the service and assess its overall effectiveness to inform future service planning.

EMPHN contracted Rebbeck to provide an evaluation of MED’s after-hours telehealth services.

Our impact

Rebbeck provided a comprehensive evaluation of the MED after-hours service through formative, summative and economic impact evaluations.

Impact evaluations demonstrated improved access to after-hours care and increased satisfaction among both patients and providers.​

Economic evaluations estimated that the service prevented 2,800 ED presentations and 360 ambulance trips, resulting in savings of roughly $1 million over an 18-month period.

Rebbeck’s evaluation provided evidence-based recommendations to EMPHN, whilst providing MED with insights to optimise the service and improve alignment with healthcare system demands and patient care needs.