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Practical aspects of telehealth: establishing telehealth in an institution

Authors

  • S. Sabesan,

    1. School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    2. Department of Medical Oncology, Townsville Cancer Centre, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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  • D. T. Allen,

    1. Quality Occupational Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • P. Caldwell,

    1. Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Centre for Kidney Research, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • P. K. Loh,

    1. Department of Geriatric Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • R. Mozer,

    1. Rehabilitation Medicine, Rankin Park Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
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  • P. A. Komesaroff,

    1. Department of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Monash Centre for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and Society, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • P. Talman,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Neurosciences Department, Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
    3. Deakin Medical School, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
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  • M. Williams,

    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Mackay Hospital, Mackay, Queensland, Australia
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  • N. Shaheen,

    1. Aged Care Services, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • O. Grabinski,

    Corresponding author
    1. Communications Unit, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    • Correspondence

      Odette Grabinski, Communications Unit, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.

      Email: telehealth@racp.edu.au

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  • and on behalf of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Telehealth Working Group


  • Funding: None.
  • Conflict of interest: None.

Abstract

The fifth in a series of papers on practical aspects of telehealth, this paper discusses telehealth models that can facilitate the provision of specialist services to rural and remote patients closer to home. Some of the barriers to successful implementation of these models relates to workforce, funding and infrastructure at rural sites, as well as the traditional mindset of healthcare professionals. Therefore, the rural sector needs to be adequately resourced for telehealth models to be substantive and successful. This paper describes the development of a large teleoncology network over a vast geographical area in North Queensland. Adequate resourcing for the rural sites and undertaking quality improvement activities has continually enhanced the model over a 5- to 6-year period. The benefits of this model of care are twofold: (i) patients received their care closer to home and (ii) the workforce, service capabilities and infrastructure for the hospital in Mt Isa (a rural town 900 km away from its tertiary centre) has improved.

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