Proven out­comes with Tele­health

Knee pa­tient a keen ad­vo­cate of tele­health con­sul­ta­tions that saved him trav­el­ling to Gayn­dah

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

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.

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