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Public can continue to have confidence in Healtline service

Public can continue to have confidence in high-quality Healthline service

National telephone health information and advice line Healthline says the public can continue to have confidence in the service it provides. A former Healthline telenurse has had her registration suspended for two years by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and been fined after she was found to have failed to have followed correct calls processes, including disconnecting calls from the public.

Medical Director Dr Richard Medlicott says Medibank Health Solutions’ was extremely concerned when it identified the nurse’s behaviour through internal monitoring systems. Medibank provides the Healthline service for the Ministry of Health.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable, and once discovered, Medibank Health Solutions’ moved quickly to investigate, stood the nurse down, and she was later dismissed. We also reported the nurse to the Nursing Council.”

He says all Healthline telenurses receive comprehensive, ongoing training to enable them to provide the highest quality service and advice.

“Incidents like this are very disappointing and following this incident we have further tightened our monitoring system to reduce the likelihood of this happening again. We can identify any instances of call processes not being correctly followed, and take action.”

Dr Medlicott says incidents such as this are rare, and the public can have confidence Healthline continues to provide a high-quality, evidence-based health advice and information service.

“Healthline answers over 390,000 calls each year, and employs around 100 experienced, registered nurses. Advice given by Healthline nurses is based on an electronic clinical decision support software tool. A well-established clinical governance framework ensures clinical advice is both consistent and of a high standard.”

He says Healthline has a robust feedback process in place, and takes any caller concerns very seriously.


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