Service keeps health care local
HEALTH care delivered closer to home was under the spotlight at Harvey District Hospital last week as part of WA Country Health Service’s Telehealth Awareness Week.
Acting clinical nurse manager Janice Uren said residents were increasingly taking advantage of the hospital’s telehealth unit with their appointments.
“We have a lot of telehealth users in the region now,” Ms Uren said.
“The hospital hosted 18 appointments in May, which represented a big increase.
“It’s great because people don’t have to travel to Perth for their appointments.” Ms Uren said the hospital mainly used the service for patients with wounds, but other services such as haematology, neurology, pain medicine and other treatments were also provided.
“We are able to have the patient seen by telehealth and get an assessment for their wound without having to travel to the city - it’s excellent,” Ms Uren said.
“We have one elderly lady who uses it frequently, which is ideal because travelling to Perth is also a big commitment for the rest of her family.
“Community patients can also have specialist appointments for both pre and post-surgery as well as Allied Health and Mental Health appointments.”
The hospital also has an Emergency Telehealth Service, which offers 24/7 support to doctors and nurses treating emergency cases in regional and remote areas.
People in most rural and remote towns across WA can access healthcare appointments using telehealth for more than 30 specialities including cancer services, surgical follow-up, respiratory medicine, blood-related disorders, orthopaedics as well as education for chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma.
Telehealth service providers deliver 350 outpatient appointments at more than 150 telehealth-enabled sites across WA.
ECU nursing student Demelza Whyte and registered nurse Amber Skeet with the telehealth set-up at Harvey District Hospital.