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Technology saves patient journeys

27 June 2018

CQ Health’s telehealth service has saved local patients a staggering 4.2 million kilometres of travel time in the past year.

Chief Executive Steve Williamson said the health service’s main aim was to provide as many services as close to home as possible, and that includes using technology to help patients.

“Our strategic vision Destination 2030 has the ambitious aim of creating 10,000 fewer patient journeys for Central Queenslanders as we develop our regional specialist hospital, expand telehealth services and develop our clinical network of hub-and-spoke services,” Mr Williamson said.

Telehealth is a video link between patients and health professionals, either from smaller rural hospitals to specialists in Rockhampton, or from Rockhampton to even more specialised teams in Brisbane or tertiary hospitals.

“This means patients don’t have the inconvenience or expense of having to take time off work or school to travel out of town for their medical appointment.”

“Our amazing telehealth team has delivered more than 10,000 appointments so far this financial year, which is many more than the 7381 in 2016-17,” Mr Williamson said. The number of telehealth options is continually growing, with 15 new services hooking up in the past financial year.

One good example of the technology is a weekly Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) clinic with a specialist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Patients who use this technology are supported by Rockhampton Hospital staff for their regular appointments, under supervision of IBD specialists in Brisbane.

The IBD specialist in Brisbane can consult with patients in Rockhampton, and those who need physical examinations are taken care of by local physicians.

IBD specialist Dr Lim said the service was of great benefit to patients, and worked well as part of a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach.

“Patients need ongoing support with the organisation of infusions and other procedures,” Dr Lim said.

“Most of the patients seem to be able to accept the telehealth concept. All the equipment is set up in hospitals so they don’t need to be IT savvy because there are nurses and admin staff available to troubleshoot and ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Last updated: 30 August 2018

CQ Health media enquiries

Media Manager (Central Queensland)
Phone (07) 4920 6711

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