Clinical Hotline pilot

The Clinical Hotline is a new pilot telephone service for treating healthcare providers and WorkSafe agents to call for clinical advice and brainstorming about the treatment of injured workers.

Introduction

The Clinical Hotline is a telephone service for select treating health providers and agents.

Providers can call 03 4243 6950 for clinical advice and brainstorming about the treatment of WorkCover injured workers. You will have the option of speaking to an experienced WorkCover General Practitioner (GP), Psychologist or Physiotherapist, depending on the nature of the query.

The Clinical Hotline aims to support providers in their treatment of WorkCover patients, and understand where broader education may be beneficial.

Clinical Hotline FAQs

What is the Clinical Hotline?

The Clinical Hotline is a pilot service aiming to support General Practitioners (GPs), psychologists and physiotherapist who treat WorkCover patients.

At WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe), we have a group of clinicians who form our 'Clinical Panel' and we're looking to test better ways of utilising the Clinical Panel's expertise. The aim is to better support Treating Health Practitioners who treat WorkCover patients, work with a prevention led focus and create better outcomes for injured workers.

How does the Clinical Hotline change the way I currently treat my WorkCover patients?

You now have the option to directly access WorkSafe's hotline clinicians by phone. This could be for a number of reasons; including peer to peer discussion on treatment pathways, or to brainstorm a particular injury and evidence-based treatment.

Day General Practitioner Psychologist Physiotherapist
Tuesday 1:00pm – 4:00pm 9:00am – 12:00pm  
Wednesday 1:00pm – 5:00pm   2:00pm – 5:00pm
Thursday     1:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday   12:00pm – 3:00pm  

What is the WorkSafe Clinical Panel?

The WorkSafe Clinical Panel is made up of over 80 clinicians across a range of medical and allied health specialties. The Clinical Panel generally provide advice to WorkSafe and Agents at an individual claim level. The Clinical Panel also contribute to the broader development and implementation of WorkSafe’s policies and initiatives to improve health service provision. They support health providers in applying the principles of the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services when treating injured workers and review outlier provider performance to manage health risks and quality safeguards.

Does my patient need to be in the room with me while I am accessing the Clinical Hotline?

No, you may choose to contact the Clinical Hotline before, after or during your consultation with your patient. This may depend on the matter you wish to discuss.

Can another member of my practice call on my behalf?

Not at the moment. During the pilot phase, access to the Clinical Hotline is limited to practitioners only. This may change, based on feedback and evaluation.

Will the conversation be recorded or accessible by the patient or anyone else?

The conversation will not be recorded.

If you identify the patient to the clinician, and they already have a claim number, the details of the call will be filed in WorkSafe's records management system. Agent Case Managers have access to this system.

If you choose not to identify your patient, a record of the conversation will be documented and stored in a secured WorkSafe file drive, for pilot evaluation purposes.

Injured workers can request information about them under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) or Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic). Being a Victorian government agency, requests can be made to access the information WorkSafe holds. Provision of this information is in accordance with WorkSafe’s statutory obligations. For more information about this please contact [email protected].

What will happen if I call the Clinical Hotline outside of its operation hours?

Your call will go to voicemail. If you leave a voicemail, a hotline clinician will call you back as soon as possible.

Who will be taking my call?

Currently, GPs will staff the Clinical Hotline. From 19 July 2021, the Clinical Hotline will be staffed by GPs, psychologists and physiotherapists. These clinicians are part of WorkSafe's Clinical Panel. The pilot may be expanded to include more clinician disciplines, depending on the demand and feedback on the pilot.

How does the Clinical Hotline differ to the WorkSafe advisory service?

The WorkSafe advisory service is accessible to all Treating Health Practitioners, injured workers, employers and Agents. The advisory service is operated by administrative consultants and is reserved for general, non-medical queries. The advisory service will continue as a point of access for claim or administrative information for all stakeholders.

The Clinical Hotline is for clinical queries and staffed by clinicians only. The Clinical Hotline will be reserved for 10–15 minute clinical conversations from Agent Case Managers and select Treating Health Practitioners only.

Will the hotline clinician have access to the injured worker’s WorkSafe file?

The hotline clinician will have access to all information saved on your patient's file, however will not be able to share this information. The Agent Case Manager should be contacted for any WorkCover case file matters.

What will happen if the hotline clinician cannot answer my query?

If the caller's query is out of the clinician's scope, the query will be noted and followed up. A return phone call will be made to the caller.

Can the hotline clinician make decisions about the injured worker’s WorkCover claim?

No. The authorised Agent is responsible for making decisions on each claim. The Clinical Hotline is a guidance tool to assist Agent decision-making and to improve injured worker outcomes.

Who do I contact to ask questions or give feedback about the Clinical Hotline?

For more information, please contact the pilot team at WorkSafe on [email protected].

Pilot team: Melinda Rice, Manager and Sarah Gregorio, Project Officer.

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