An online medical platform which lets GPs work in aged care facilities and other settings without being tied to a physical practice has been named Telstra’s Australian Business of the Year.
Founded by Adelaide GPs Troye Wallett and Sebastian Rees, the technology, called GenWise Health, saves doctors time, earns them extra cash and provides peer support, the developers said.
In return for a fifth of their billings, the “virtual clinic” also allows GPs to work during the hours they prefer.
Dr Rees told The Medical Republic he and Dr Wallett had initially set out to improve the efficiency of their callouts to aged-care facilities.
Paperwork was sapping their time and earning potential and poor communication was damaging care.
The pair bonded over these issues during a chance meeting shortly before they launched the platform four years ago.
“I was spending a lot of time doing things that weren’t correlating to patient outcomes,” Dr Rees said. Furthermore, he was paying 40% of his earnings to a clinic he seldom visited because he was out in the community.
Dr Rees said the platform used common technologies, such as Best Practice, which many GPs were familiar with.
“It’s an online dashboard with all the tools GPs use in their day-to-day work, on a robust server they can use any time they like,” he said.
The company had no intention to lift its share of billings as more doctors joined the platform, Dr Rees added. “We work for our doctors, not the other way around.”
GenWise has also expanded to GPs working in family health, sports medicine, and in homelessness, disadvantaged and domestic violence settings such as Catherine House, an Adelaide women’s shelter.
However, currently only 42 GPs are registered to use it with Dr Rees saying his team has rejected around 400 applicants in the past four years.
“We are selective and we want people who have the same ethos around aged care and continuity of care. We can use this as a tool to go out and be mobile and work – a little bit like an Uber driver, if you like – but hopefully with a bit more of the GenWise ethos behind you.”
Dr Rees said as part of the company’s business award, Telstra would provide financial support of around $5000 and in-kind support that included IT consulting and mentoring.
The company was named SA winner in July, and also picked up the 2017 Telstra South Australian Micro Business of the Year award.