It’s described as a “practice in your pocket” for GPs working in aged care, and now the online platform GenWise Health has been named Telstra Australian Business of the Year.
 
A virtual clinic started four years ago by Adelaide GPs Sebastian Rees and Troye Wallett, GenWise now has 40 doctors, nurse practitioners and specialists delivering care to about 4000 older Australians in residential facilities.
 
For co-founder Dr Sebastian Rees, last week’s announcement was recognition of the company’s efforts to improve the standard of care for older people.
 
“This award is an opportunity for celebration of our community and the work they do, a chance to gain further legitimacy as a model of care for the future and most importantly an opportunity to raise awareness about the need for more health care professionals working in residential aged care,” Rees told Healthcare IT News Australia.
 
GenWise aims to boost the number of clinicians servicing the more than 275,000 Australians in aged care nationally by offering autonomy, flexibility and support.
 
“We cultivate a community of support and collaboration — encouraging GPs to educate, cover and support each other. This is achieved through our internal messaging platform that GenWise members have access to. We offer GPs very competitive remuneration and the freedom to determine their own style of care and practice,” Rees said.
 
Best Practice or ZedMed medical software are used and doctors can bulk or private bill.
 
It means that aged care — an area of healthcare that can struggle to attract GPs — has a platform designed to provide an expanding clinical cohort to a growing sector.
 
“The feedback we have received from patients, families and aged care organisations has been overwhelming. Simply having a dedicated and engaged GP available to care of residents at aged care facilities is improving the outcomes for all of those involved.”
 
Through winning the Australian Business of the Year award, GenWise hopes to scale up and into other areas.
 
“We hope to further raise the profile of aged care, expand the reach of GenWise to introduce more clinicians to aged care and ensure that each and every older Australian has improved access and choice of GP,” Rees said.
 
“GenWise is also working with GPs to focus on other areas of need such as ATSI health, homeless shelter clinics, women’s shelter clinics and paediatrics.”
 
GenWise was also named the 2017 Telstra Micro Business at Friday’s award ceremony in Sydney. Last week it won the product innovation and service innovation categories at the Australian Business Awards, and in July was named the Telstra South Australian Business of the Year.