NHMRC opened the Targeted Call for Research (TCR): Ensuring the quality and safety of telehealth on 5 July 2023. Applications closed on 30 August 2023.

This TCR was prioritised by the NHMRC Commonwealth State and Territories Joint TCR Working Committee and aims to stimulate research on telehealth and its potential to achieve positive health outcomes.

The objectives of the TCR: Ensuring the quality and safety of telehealth 2023 were to:

  • Identify and understand:
    • the factors that influence which populations, health conditions and interactions can be effectively managed by telehealth
    • those who may be at risk of poor outcomes or harm
    • whether there is the potential for telehealth to reduce inequity in health service access and health outcome of some populations compared to the general population
  • Identify what measures can be used by health service providers to guide decision making on whether telehealth is used instead of, or in addition to, other models of care to gain positive health outcomes and optimise resource use.
  • Develop tools and supports that assist healthcare providers in the delivery and selection of appropriate telehealth services and modalities that monitor clinical outcomes as well as measures that ensure a high standard of safety, quality, efficacy and continuity of care.
  • Develop methods to evaluate the clinical and economic effectiveness, acceptability (patient-clinician/multidisciplinary team experiences), appropriateness and the long-term impacts (positive and negative) of telehealth on clinical outcomes.

It is expected that the outcome of the TCR: Ensuring the quality and safety of telehealth 2023 grant opportunity will be the development of an evidence-base that can inform future health policy on the appropriateness of telehealth modalities in delivering healthcare. It will also support healthcare practitioners and health service providers to make evidence-based decisions on the utility and effectiveness of telehealth and how it can be used to enhance the provision of healthcare in their local setting.