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Bairnsdale Regional Health Services

Using telemedicine to improve patient care

Video length: 2:43 minutes.

Australia | Healthcare | Digital Workplace

Telemedicine enables more personal patient care and better information exchange

Bairnsdale Regional Health uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to offer better patient care to their community of 44,000 people, spread over a vast geographical area.

Download this case study (pdf, 479.31KB)

Why?

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service wanted to use the Internet of Things to better serve their community and improve patient care.

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How?

High-definition, high-quality video cameras enable quick diagnosis, collaborative treatment, and remote specialist consultation for better patient care.

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What?

Patient care and general healthcare standards have improved, and collaboration with other healthcare institutions has increased.

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Why?

Why it’s important to bring doctors closer to patients

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) wanted to use the Internet of Things to serve their community of about 44,000 people to improve patient care. Telemedicine would enable healthcare workers to connect and make real-time decisions and allow patients to access specialists from other regions.

BRHS provides a sub-regional health care service in far east Victoria, Australia and serves a community stretching over a vast geographical area. The emergency service department attends to 22,000 patients a year and supports smaller regional hospitals like Orbost and Omeo, which is a one and two-hour drive away respectively.

BRHS also provides high-quality healthcare services either at the hospital, in a centre-environment, or at a patient’s home. The healthcare provider wanted to find new ways to improve the standards of healthcare they provide to patients. Experts needed to exchange ideas with peers, and pool experience with other health organisations to ensure that patients get the benefit of multiple expert opinions.

Additionally, BRHS wanted to provide consultancy facilities to small, remote hospitals. It took long for doctors to travel to these remote hospitals, which meant that treatment was often delayed.

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How?

How BHRS uses technology to serve the community

High-definition, high-quality video cameras on each side allow for quick diagnosis, collaborative treatment, and remote specialist consultation – all translating into better patient outcomes. Patients also utilise their tablets, smart phones or computers to connect with doctors for follow-up appointments.

Within a period of three months, we deployed high-definition, high-quality video cameras at BRHS and other health organisations such as ARV, Omeo, and Orbost hospitals.

BRHS’s doctors in the emergency department can now support doctors and patients in outreaching areas in Bostonia through telemedicine. Patients can also virtually connect and draw on the expertise from doctors and specialists in Melbourne which is 280km away and the closest major city to Bairnsdale.

Rebecca Woodland, Medical Workforce Manager at BRHS says, ‘Telemedicine is all about bringing the doctor to the patient via their computer or iPad. The video cameras create a real-life experience and doctors feel like they’re in the room with the patient for the consultation.’

Woodland continues, ‘We operate in a service industry, we’re here to serve the community. The fact that we can serve more people now is hugely beneficial.’

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What?

What telemedicine does for healthcare in the region

BRHS has improved patient care and standards of healthcare in general. Telemedicine creates a ‘personal’ patient experience and has increased information exchange and collaboration between BRHS and other healthcare institutions.

To ensure the best care for patients, BRHS is now offering collaborative treatment from experts. A network of surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, pathologists, and nurses has been set up to collaborate via telemedicine and exchange ideas, treat a patient and make a diagnosis – all in real-time.

Doctors no longer need to travel to remote hospitals to deliver services. They use videoconferencing to consult with patients from BRHS’s main hospital, ensuring that often urgent treatment starts immediately.

Video cameras which zoom in-and-out are fitted into ambulances. Agents at the region’s ambulance service can now identify the condition of a patient before they’re taken to the hospital. The ability to diagnose patients before they arrive at the hospital, improves the efficiency of the emergency ward and minimises risks to patients.

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