Emily is a 24-year-old student with no pre-existing medical conditions, who you saw last week for an initial antenatal visit. She now presents for a telehealth appointment for the results of initial investigations. During the consultation, Emily reveals that she has just received a positive result from a COVID-19 test after finding out she was a close contact of a positive family member over Christmas. Emily is only experiencing mild symptoms of rhinorrhoea and sore throat but is feeling anxious and not sure what to do as she’s run out of groceries and unable to afford the delivery fee for the supermarket.
What resources are available to support GPs caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19?
There are now several HealthPathways available to support GPs in managing patients with COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Case Management pathway provides detailed guidance on how to assess for disease severity and risk factors for deterioration, how and when to escalate care, what to advise patients about medication management, and ongoing monitoring recommendations.
Common concerns for low-risk patients are covered by the COVID-19 Care of Low Risk Self-care Patients pathway, including suggestions for how to triage phone calls from COVID-19 positive patients, advice for household contacts and options for after-hours support.
In the case of Emily, because of her pregnancy, referral to the LHD COVID-19 care service for closer monitoring is indicated. Details for how to refer to these services, and contact information for advice is available on the COVID-19 Referrals page.
The COVID-19 Isolation Support pathway lists phone numbers to access support for patients in isolation. For Emily, the first port of call should be the NSW Health Isolation Support Line (1800 943 553) which can link to statewide processes to deliver grocery packages for eligible patients. Mental health, domestic and family violence, housing and financial supports are also listed on the page.
Other helpful HealthPathways include:
- COVID-19 Assessment and Management in Residential Aged Care
- COVID-19 Case Detection
- Post COVID-19 Conditions
- COVID-19 PPE, Infection Control and Exposure Response (currently being updated to provide additional advice for practices where an exposure has occurred)
All COVID-19 HealthPathways for our region can be accessed here, using the following login details:
Username – manchealth
Password – conn3ct3d