Allied Health teams embrace virtual care delivery in the wake of COVID-19

Rachel Resuggan1, Kera Fulurija1

1St John Of God Healthcare, Perth, Australia

Health systems in Australia are amongst the slowest to adopt digital health solutions, and St John God of Health Care (SJGHC), one of the largest Catholic health care providers in Australia, is no exception. In March 2020, the COVID-19 imposed face-to-face restrictions that drove SJGHC to pivot and leverage its resources and technology to enable the continuation of safe, effective health care services, via telehealth.

SJGHC is a complex network of national health care services operating 24 facilities including 17 hospitals, community health care services, disability services, and social outreach programs.

In March 2020, the organisation had to rapidly shut down non-essential face-to-face services, leaving hundreds of patients without the care they needed. A team of internal clinical and digital subject matter experts came together to design, develop, test, and deploy a fit-for-purpose telehealth service that leveraged the organisation’s existing technology. This resulted in the nationwide rapid deployment of hundreds of pieces of telehealth-ready hardware supported by a fit-for-purpose telehealth framework. End users were trained and supported within a matter of weeks enabling them to deliver nearly 19,000 telehealth service events between March-August 2020 with very positive patient feedback.

The Telehealth Project team was skilled, highly collaborative, and solution-focused. The organisation’s technological infrastructure supported the leverage of existing enterprise cloud-based technology and senior leaders empowered the team, trusting their ability to deliver.

This presentation will share the lessons learnt from such a large scale national digital health change project and insight into the key success factors (people, technology, and governance).of this initiative.

The presentation concludes with discussion of Next Steps and an evaluation strategy.


Biography:

Kera Fulurija is a Clinical Project Officer at St John of God Health Care. Kera trained as a Dietitian and has worked across the public and private health sectors in a range of clinical and quality project roles. Kera has a passion for service innovation and bringing ‘on the floor’ experience to a project to showcase the value of clinical practice when designing new health care processes, systems, and services. In 2020 Kera was awarded a Digital Health CRC scholarship which has ignited her passion for digital health.

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