Integrating telehealth services into a remote allied health service: a pilot study

O'Hara, Rebecca, and Jackson, Sarah (2017) Integrating telehealth services into a remote allied health service: a pilot study. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 25 (1). pp. 53-57.

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Abstract

Problem: The continuity of care for people with neurological conditions in a remote northwest Queensland town as services are currently only available intermittently.

Design: Mixed methods design using questionnaires and staff review of the program and processes.

Setting: Intermittent community rehabilitation service for clients with neurological conditions has been offered in Mount Isa and is supported by a similar fulltime service in Townsville. Both services use a unique client-centred, student-assisted, interprofessional model of care.

Key measures for improvement: Understanding participant experiences by obtaining feedback from clients, students and allied health professionals (AHPs) regarding their experiences of using telehealth in this setting.

Strategy for change: Previous clients of the North West Community Rehabilitation service were offered a review assessment using telehealth by an interprofessional team.

Effects of change: Using telehealth enabled the client, remote AHP and students in Mount Isa to be connected to expert assistance in Townsville.

Lessons learnt: The findings suggest that telehealth was useful in a community rehabilitation setting to provide review services for clients. This improved continuity of care for these clients because without this telehealth assessment, the clients would have had to wait up to 12 months for the next service period in Mount Isa or travel to a major urban centre to access a similar service. Feedback from clients, students and AHPs was positive; however, some challenges were identified. Recommendations for future service delivery using telehealth are outlined in the paper.

Item ID: 50593
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: clinical education, community rehabilitation, telehealth
Funders: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 10:17
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 80%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1109 Neurosciences > 110904 Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 100%
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