BENDIGO Health spent three months non-compliant with aged care standards in the past financial year, its annual report has revealed.
The organisation's response to COVID-19 - including a dramatic rise in the use of telehealth - was also detailed in the report.
It stated that after an agency review in October 2019 Bendigo Health was deemed non-compliant. It was then reviewed as compliant again in January 2020.
A Bendigo Health's spokesperson said one of the organisation's residential care facilities was deemed non-compliant, following the review. They said improvements were made to the facility, which was then re-assessed as compliant.
The number of telehealth services provided by Bendigo Health soared during 2019-20.
The organisation conducted about 2700 telehealth appointments across the Loddon Mallee in a six week period of April and May, compared to 187 in the 12 months prior.
In total, the hospital conducted nearly 6000 outpatient appointments by telehealth between March and June.
It's sparked an evaluation of the role of telehealth into Bendigo Health's services in the future.
The move online was part of the organisation's response to COVID-19, by which face-to-face specialist clinic appointments were reduced by two thirds.
In the chair's report, Bob Cameron said the success of this program had prompted Bendigo Health could integrate telehealth technology into its services.
Mr Cameron said telehealth had the potential to address workforce shortages in regional and rural health services, by allowing organisations to provide care remotely.
He said the board was confident remote health technology could allow more people to be treated closer to home.
A Loddon Mallee Virtual Care Strategic Plan has replaced the previous telehealth plan, addressing sustainability, governance, models, patient experience, outcomes and challenges for the next three years.
A total 50,640 people were admitted to hospital at Bendigo Health in 2019-20, a slight drop on the preceding financial year.
More than 56,800 people came to the emergency department of treatment, again slightly lower than in 2018-19.
Operation numbers were also slightly down.
In contrast, Bendigo Health provided more services at specialist clinics in 2019-2020.
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