June 21, 2021

Telehealth: Q&A with Tracey Webster

We spoke to Tracey Webster, Telehealth Project Officer, about the digital transformation journey Northern Health is on. Read on to find out how Northern Health is using digital transformation to give patients real choice in their modality of care.

What’s your coffee order?

I love English breakfast tea. There is not much that a cup of tea cannot sort out!

What are some of the milestones in your time here?

Working as part of a team to implement Telehealth at Northern Health has been an important milestone. Ensuring that we made it patient-centred and safe for patients was the priority. Northern Health has gained a really good reputation in Telehealth and our resources have been shared with other health services. We have involved consumers with the design of our Telehealth service and this has made a real difference to the success of the project.

We have made over 5,000 video calls in 12 months, which is a huge achievement compared to other health services in their first few years of implementing Telehealth.

Another important milestone was the implementation of Telehealth into areas such as ICU and ED. This has helped families in ICU to have family meetings when they cannot be physically present and still be involved in their loved ones care. The Virtual ED has been an amazing project and one that we are very proud of. Our community is embracing digital transformation and a recent survey demonstrates that they would like to be able to have choice in how they access services and not always attend face-to-face.

What are your plans for the future?

I have worked for public and private health services and for the largest provider of Telehealth and Virtual Care in the southern hemisphere, but right now I want to support Northern Health to continue its digital transformation to provide high quality accessible care for patients. I believe that Northern Health is an exciting health service to work for as it transforms digitally. Northern Health has been able to take the learnings about Telehealth from other health services and has been able to implement best practice. We have ensured that patients are at the centre but that we also really look after our clinicians as well with areas such as vocal health. We are leading the way with this and other health services are using our resources. Being part of the team to shape digital health is exciting and many others do not get that opportunity to work in a service that is starting on the journey. I want to be able to contribute to making a real difference to patients, staff and the community.

What do you enjoy most about working at Northern Health?

I really enjoy how patient-centred staff at Northern Health are and I enjoy working with amazing staff and patients. There are opportunities to grow and develop at Northern Health which is really good. I enjoy working in Telehealth with the different disciplines as well. It is good to see medical, nursing and allied health all offering their patients real choice with their modality of care.

It has been wonderful to hear from patients about how they are enjoying video calls and able to prioritise their health and wellbeing, even during lockdowns, by having high quality accessible care. There is a real culture of support for patients and families, and staff really do want to do their best.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

I have started sewing lessons! I am not very good but am persevering. I hope to be able to wear an item of clothing to work one day!

If you could describe Northern Health in a sentence what would that be?

Northern Health is on a digital transformation journey to give patients real choice in their modality of care and it is exciting!

Featured image: Tracey Webster, Telehealth Project Officer