WA to implement video call health care in hospitals

Friday, 14 October, 2016

WA to implement video call health care in hospitals

Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) and Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) are currently trialling new video call services.

It is hoped that the technology will increase convenience for patients and lower travel costs.

Health Minister John Day said the video technology complemented the successful Telehealth system introduced across the public hospital system.

"Telehealth is widely used on rural health campuses, directly linking specialists with clinical staff and country patients in real time," he said.

"The new metro video calling system is simple to operate and provides outpatients with an additional option for consultations, from the comfort of their own homes."

The trial is a free service for public patients and their carers, accessible using existing technology including computers, smartphones and tablets. Although video calling has been available for some time, it is a first for the Western Australian clinical setting.

"The trial is already proving a popular option, with the potential to save patients time, money and the inconvenience of travelling away from home,” said Day.

"In addition, reducing the number of people attending outpatient appointments in person will increase efficiencies for clinical staff and reduce pressure on waiting rooms."

Once the trial has been completed, patients and carers will be able to request their next appointment to be via video call. If the patient is clinically suitable, patients and carers will be provided with information on the service, including troubleshooting advice.

Videoconferencing will also be available to all clinical teams at the new Perth Children's Hospital.

Image credit: ©Petrik/Dollar Photo Club

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