Proven outcomes with Telehealth
Knee patient a keen advocate of telehealth consultations that saved him travelling to Gayndah
TELEHEALTH has been revolutionising patient treatment in theWide Bay Burnett region, providing better access and reducing patient travel time.
At a recent national telehealth conference, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s director of nursing rural stream Sara Shaughnessy showcased the better patient, clinical and performance outcomes achieved through telehealth.
“For many years, the initial plan was about... ambulance retrieval (and) now it’s about being in the local community rather than travelling,” Ms Shaughnessy said.
“What we’ve done is to try to build on the technology – the state of the equipment.”
The video-link technology has connected North Burnett patients with health staff in another hospital during emergency consultations, and diagnosis of cardiac and other conditions, she said.
With the State Government’s recent decision to promote rural and remote health, daily use of telehealth extends to the Rural Allied and community health team based in Gayndah.
Physiotherapist Rachel Pennisi has used the technology to run basic physiotherapy clinics, particularly for clients in Monto and Childers, and balance and mobility classes.
“In Monto, Biggenden, Mundubbera and Gayndah, we run a (balance and mobility) group for an hour each week,” Ms Pennisi said.
“There’s an allied health assistant in each town – they sit with patients in each town, and assist in running the class.
“We can’t do as dynamic (challenging) exercises, so I
Sara Shaughnessy ...now it’s about being in the local community rather than travelling.
have designed it as a circuit, and they benefit as most as they can.”
Ms Pennisi said video-links could also be used for reviews with orthopaedic surgeons, as patients typically travelled up to two hours each way for “quite a short appointment”.
Ms Shaughnessy said North Burnett residents referred to a specialist at Bundaberg Hospital could request a telehealth appointment by contacting telehealth co-ordinator Pammie Ellem on 4150 2222.
TELEHEALTH: Liz Whittaker Jeffery Sunderland, patient Joyce Sunderland and director of nursing Sue Coward connect with a specialist during a telehealth conference from Gayndah Hospital.