Telehealth brings health services to your home

Eligible patients no longer need to spend time and money travelling to Ipswich Hospital to speak with a clinician.

Telehealth services are increasingly allowing patients to be treated at home, or at their closest health facility.

West Moreton Health provides telehealth services for several conditions, ranging from heart medication titration to borderline personality disorder and specialist consultations in areas such as antenatal care.

West Moreton Health Interim Chief Operating Officer Cang Dang said the arrival of telehealth meant hospitals were no longer constrained by bricks and mortar when delivering services.

This week is Telehealth Awareness Week, which recognises the growth of telehealth as a service offering in health care.

“Currently there are six virtual programs offered at West Moreton Health,” Mr Dang said. “We have a wide range of telehealth services across multiple specialities, some of these include the Heart Health Hub, for cardiac consumers; Hospital in the Home, for consumers who can be treated at home; MeCare, for consumers with chronic disease; and specialty telehealth clinics for pregnancy care. 

“Telehealth is also widely used across our Allied Health services with consults often used in dietetics, particularly in our gestational diabetes clinics, and cancer care and chronic disease clinics,” Mr Dang said.

“The wonderful thing about this technology is that positive results gained from real-time monitoring often exceed pre-teleheath care.”

The Living Well team at Ipswich Hospital is helping consumers with borderline personality disorder access the care they need when they need it, rather than waiting for an appointment.  

Clinical Project Lead Zonia Weideman said consumers with borderline personality disorder often needed immediate care and telehealth had enabled that to occur.

“We have seen some fantastic results since the platform went live,” Ms Weideman said.  

“Virtual care works because treatment is more accessible, so consumers can have help with their mental health when they need it, rather than waiting for an appointment. It is real-time care.

“Patients have commented on how much they like using the messaging service via the platform, where they can communicate with our team from their lounge room,” she said.