Southern DHB plans to extend telehealth links

A trial of telemedicine that allows rehabilitation specialists in Dunedin to hold clinics by video conference with Southland Hospital has proved successful, according to Southern DHB.

The trial has been going since the start of the year and links the ISIS rehabilitation ward at Wakari Hospital to the Assessment Treatment and Rehabilitation (ATR) team at Southland Hospital.

The link is predominantly for family meetings, multi-disciplinary team meetings and education and training.

Southern DHB has been installing more video links into the outpatient clinic rooms at Lakes District Hospital and Balclutha Hospital which can be used by consultants to video conference with other clinicians as well as to see patients remotely.

The DHB will next trial dietetic appointments for Lakes patients via video link into Southland Hospital.

Telemedicine is the way forward for a district this size, Southern DHB executive director of patient services, Lexie O'Shea, said.

“This enables more patient better access to healthcare, and providing health services remotely can reduce hospitalisations and save patients travel,” Ms O'Shea said.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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