August 17, 2020

Anytime, Anywhere Care

Laurelle Bland, Occupational Therapist – Hand Therapy Service, has been using Telehealth (video calls) in the treatment of hand therapy trauma for several weeks now.

She says, “Telehealth has enabled me to effectively treat patients who are unable to attend due to COVID-19. It is also very cost and time effective for our rural patients, who can now receive treatment online rather than having to drive to Melbourne.”

Laurelle says she has found video calls allow her to visually assess the patient rather than relying on subjective reporting over the phone, which then better guides her treatment.

“I have even been able to measure range of motion on the screen using a goniometer,” says Laurelle.

Says Laurelle, “Telehealth has changed our hand therapy treatment for the better and I am excited by the opportunity it provides in making our service more accessible, time efficient and cost effective.”

Allied Health is working on expanding our Telehealth service across other outpatient clinics and community therapy services.

Tracey Webster, Telehealth Project Officer, is pleased to see the Hand Therapy Clinic use Telehealth – for a couple of reasons.

“My daughter has been a patient twice as a child/teenager at the Hand Therapy Clinic. She is now 23 and a land surveyor and has no problems with her hands and is grateful for the care she received. For me, being able to assist the Hand Therapy Clinic team in being able to provide their patients with access to video calls was a privilege,” she says.

Briana Baass, Chief Allied Health Officer and Partnerships, sees digitally enabled models of care helping Northern Health achieve its strategic plan and be more equipped to meet the future demand and needs of our community.

“Ultimately, these initiatives leverage the benefits of technology to improve service access, efficiency and responsiveness in order to work towards delivering ‘anytime, anywhere care’,” says Briana.

Bec Gilbert, Manager Organisational Capability at Northern Health, today confirmed that the Telehealth Hub has gone live in the myLearning LMS.

It will provide staff across the organisation access to relevant training and education, receive up-to-date information, facilitate ongoing dialogue across all sites and a platform to share information, issues, and solutions regarding Telehealth.

Early evaluation and patient feedback from the Allied Health pilot clinics indicate that patients felt the video Telehealth consultation addressed their health care needs, and all patients surveyed indicated they would prefer to use Telehealth for their next appointment rather than attend in person.

Here’s what a couple of patients had to say:

“I don’t think it could be improved. It was an excellent consultation.”

“Keep offering it please!”

Featured image shows Laurelle Bland,  Occupational Therapist in consultation with a patient on Telehealth.