Great news for patients living in regional and rural Victoria

St Vincent’s physiotherapists are trialing an innovative Telehealth program that allows their patients to attend review appointments remotely using videoconferencing technologies.

Telehealth is the provision of healthcare and education over a distance using telecommunication technologies and is a slowly emerging area in healthcare reform.

Our Advanced Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists say they are excited to be exploring the option of Telehealth as a way of improving access to care for patients attending review appointments after total joint replacement surgery.

With St Vincent’s performing over 700 joint replacements a year and many patients coming from regional and rural Victoria, there can be significant travel involved for patients attending the standard post-operative reviews.  This can come at a cost to patients.

As part of a Workforce Innovation Grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the physiotherapists have been offering eligible patients who are more than 6 months post joint replacement surgery to attend their review via a video link.

This leads to less travel, less time off work and reduced costs associated with transport for patients.

Through the video link, the physiotherapist is able to perform a visual assessment and provide the same quality of care as compared to traditional face-to-face appointments.

001Outcomes from the telehealth project have been very positive for both patients and our hospital.

The feedback from patients that had their review via telehealth has indicated 100 per cent were happy with the service and would utilise it again.

At a time where there is increased access to technology, telehealth offers the opportunity to transform the way in which healthcare has traditionally been delivered and the physiotherapy team are committed to leading the way.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Carroll at St Vincent’s Physiotherapy Department: 03 9288 3888, Stephanie.carroll@svha.org.au

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