Telehealth Consultations Available At PDH

Photo: (Seated at Front) Chris Reynolds & Leonie Shemeld-telecare participants, (from left standing) Norma Wier-Care Co-ord, Trish Rawlings-Admin & Robyn McCabe-Practice Nurse. Thank you to Portland Observer for supplying photo
Thursday, 25 January 2018
Portland District Health wants the community to ask the question-“Am I able to do this consultation via telehealth?”

Christine Reynolds is one consumer who has answered yes and she is enjoying the benefits of not having to travel out of town for pain-related consultations.

Ms Reynolds has fibromyalgia, inflammation of the nerves that leaves her in constant pain and with stiffness in her joints.

The PDH telehealth service means she can speak with her pain management specialist in Warrnambool by using technology.

I didn't have to sit in the car for an hour, which is really uncomfortable, she said. To think local people can get all this help Portland District Health is providing is fantastic.

It's so much easier to get help in the comfort of the PDH Consulting Suite without having to travel. We still have a one-on-one consultation with the doctor; it's just like sitting in the room with her.

Over the past 12 months PDH has been striving to create a telehealth clinic based around pain management and accessing specialists from out of town to see clients from the Portland community.

Staff have undertaken telehealth training and are working to improve processes around the introduction and are very passionate about making this a success.

PDH hopes Telehealth will become embedded into the Portland consumer consultation process, especially if it means people don’t have to travel out of town or long distances to see specialists for short reviews that require verbal feedback.

If a consumer needs to have an assessment- for example to see how far their knee can bend post knee surgery- PDH can assign a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to attend the appointment and support these types of assessments.

Health Independence Programs nurse unit manager Carolyn Millard said the staff complete a checklist to ensure consumers and their situations are appropriate for telehealth consultation. Consultations are dependent on specialists agreeing to, and having the resources for, telehealth.

PDH also has the ability for some allied health services and nursing clinicians to telehealth from PDH to people in their homes, if they have either a smart phone or a laptop and good internet speed.

If consumers are interested in the process or want to know more, they can call PDH Consulting Suite reception on 55221410 during office hours. There is also information of the PDH website.

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