1Queensland Health, Redcliffe, Australia
The Speech Pathology team at Redcliffe Hospital was awarded project funding to establish and provide a telehealth service to paediatric outpatients. Prior to this, there were no telehealth services within Metro North for Paediatric Allied Health.
Our aim was to:
- Support communication and feeding development for children in their homes.
- Enable easier access to therapy for our consumers
- Decrease FTA rates
- Increase parent/carer satisfaction due to improved access to services
- Provide more frequent appointments to high risk patients
- Empower parents/carers to meet the communication and feeding needs of their child within their own environment
Telehealth services were offered to appropriate patients. Parents/carers were sent an online survey after every telehealth occasion of service to collect satisfaction data. Information was also recorded about connection, quality, technical issues, and the distance and time saved in travelling.
Results to date include:
- 90% of survey respondents reported they agreed or strongly agreed they were satisfied with the health care they received via telehealth
- We have saved patients from 3102kms and 67hours of travel
- From the consumers point of view, any dissatisfaction with the telehealth service was in relation to technical difficulties/internet connection
- Getting buy-in from families and encouraging them to try telehealth was a challenge
Establishing a paediatric outpatient Speech Pathology service at Redcliffe Hospital has been a positive and rewarding experience. Families are empowered by receiving support for their children in their home, without the challenges sometimes associated with attending appointments. We faced challenges around technology and internet connection, and with encouraging consumers to try this mode of service delivery. This project has enabled the speech pathology department to become Allied Health leaders in telehealth at Redcliffe Hospital, and establish resources and networks that will enable us to continue to provide this service.
Jessica Hajdu is a Paediatric Speech Pathology based at Redcliffe Hospital. She graduated from The University of Queensland in 2009 and has worked in various paediatric positions since then in Australia and the United Kingdom. As the sole paediatric speech pathologist for Redcliffe Hospital she provides both an inpatient and an outpatient service for children from birth to 16 years of age. She enjoys working with children and supporting families to help their children reach their potential especially with feeding difficulties and early language acquisition.