e-Assess

The MAG Team are delighted to release our online assessment tool, MAG eAssess which is now available for bookings.

Specially designed for regional clients, who find it difficult to travel, as well as those physically incapacitated in terms of travel, MAG eAssess brings the doctor to the client though online video conferencing, saving time and money for everyone.

MAG eAssess is a Web-based video application. No installation or account set up is required. It just uses your existing camera and microphone on via a PC or laptop. Participants will be invited through a secure invitation link, with a time and date, just like a regular appointment.  At this point they will also sign a consent form for the session to be recorded.

Whether the client is in a regional location or in the city – this brings the doctor and the claimant together in a time and cost-effective manner.

For physical examinations this is organised at a local physiotherapy office with a registered physiotherapist who will supervise the entire physical assessment, liaising with the specialist via the web throughout.

For psychological assessments, all that is required is a quiet room with a computer, either in the claimant’s home or somewhere comfortable and private.

The complete audio and video files of the consultation are available upon request, these are securely stored on a cloud-based platform.

The benefit of an online system is that it allows multiple participants, such as an interpreter, to join in on the assessment without being in that physical location.

MAG eAssess also contains an on-line dictation feature which allows on the spot dictation of notes during or after the medical session. These notes are stored with the main files and allow for review before submitting the files to our team without using any extra tools.

As always, our report turnaround for these assessments is prompt and emailed within 5 working days, however should there be an urgent referral, we can work on a tighter timeframe.

With MAG eAssess you can access a full range of Specialists for Psychiatric, Psychological, Orthopaedic, Surgical, Neurosurgical or IMC reports for any claimant, anywhere. 

eAssess – FAQs

What exactly is telehealth?
The term “telehealth” refers to the use of telecommunication techniques for the purpose of providing telemedicine, medical education, and health education over a distance.
Video-conferencing is one of the main ways in which telehealth is improving access to healthcare services for patients who live in regional, rural and remote areas.

How is a Psychiatric telehealth medico-legal assessment conducted?
Psychiatric telehealth medicolegal assessments are conducted across two different locations. The claimant is located in a GP’s surgery or insurer’s or lawyer’s office- it is important to ensure the environment is professional, quiet, and can access professional support if required. You are located in your consulting room.

The 2 locations are connected via a cloud-based network which is launched when either party clicks on the unique hyperlink provided. eAssess does not use skype and therefore your personal details are never divulged. The eAssess teleconference line is secure and unique to both parties for the booked assessment- it cannot be used by anyone else at any time.

As per a face to face assessment, both you and the claimant will be allocated a time for the assessment. At the appointed time, you will click on the hyperlink provided, and an outgoing connection will be placed to the claimant who will accept the call, and the videoconference will commence. Both you and the claimant will be able to see and hear each other. Neither is able to turn their vision or audio off.

At the end of the consultation, you simply press the red button on the screen to hang up.

How does a telehealth assessment differ from a face to face assessment?
Psychiatric medicolegal assessments lend themselves well to the use of telehealth due to the non-physical nature of the assessment. A psychiatric telehealth assessment is conducted in a similar way to a face to face assessment and follows the same line of evaluation. However, because the claimant is not in the same room, and therefore aspects such as smell are unable to be evaluated, particular attention should be given to understanding the claimant’s ability to look after themselves. This could require asking in several ways about the claimant’s activities of daily living/ daily habits, and paying particular attention to the Claimant’s grooming (shaving, cleanliness, nails, general appearance).

Psychiatrists who are highly experienced in carrying out telehealth assessments also pay particular attention to signals such as facial flushing, fidgeting and eye movements. For this reason, it is important that assessments be conducted on computers with a large screen size, a high resolution, and good sound quality.

How do I launch a telehealth assessment?
Prior to the assessment, both you and the claimant will be notified via email of the eAssess hyperlink. At the commencement of the appointment, you will click on the link to launch the videoconferencing technology, and begin the assessment

Are telehealth assessments recorded?
No. For privacy reason assessments are not able to be recorded.

Are telehealth assessments an acceptable means of undertaking a psychiatric medico-legal assessment?
Yes. Over the last 3 years more than 2,500 psychiatric medico-legal assessments have been conducted, particularly with those living in regional, rural and remote areas (or overseas), and for whom travel to a city location will cause undue additional stress and anxiety. Feedback from claimants who have undertaken their assessment via telehealth have reported favourable Net Promoter Scores, many expressing their preference for a telehealth assessment over a face to face assessment.

Furthermore, telehealth assessments are now regularly used by both defendant and plaintiff clients. Contact MAG for further details.

Do telehealth assessments stand up in court?
Telehealth is only a means of communicating with a claimant. In a legal setting it is always the quality of the information that determines its value, and this is reliant upon the Psychiatrists’ review and report writing.

What protocols apply to conducting a psychiatric medicolegal assessment via eAssess?
There are a number of protocols that apply to when conducting eAssess telehealth assessments:

  1. Assessments are not to be conducted on small screened devices such as mobile phones, iPads, small notebooks, or similar. The quality of the screen resolution and its size is important for assessing the examinee.
  2. The claimant is to undertake the assessment without a chaperone, unless this has been previously requested and approved by the assessing psychiatrist
  3. The claimant is not to conduct the assessment from their place of residence. It is to be conducted from a controlled environment such as the lawyer’s or insurer’s office, or a medical/allied health consulting room.
  4. The referrer is to sign off (or have signed off by an authorised person on location) that all protocols have been met.
  5. If you have any concerns that these protocols are not being followed, you may terminate the assessment.

How will a client know I am available to conduct assessments via telehealth?
Your online profile will be activated to receive telehealth referrals. Clients who search the online booking for an eAssess assessment will then be shown your appointment availability.

For queries, please contact admin@medicolegalassessmentsgroup.com.au or dial 02  8090 7611.