Ms Annette Lakeland1, Mr David Rappoport1
1Tasmanian Health Service – North West Region, Burnie, Australia
Introduction: The use of teleconferencing to deliver healthcare is becoming increasingly common (Wilson & Maeder 2015), however there is limited research on the use of telehealth for burn scar management. The Tasmanian Burns Unit provides a telehealth scar management clinic to patients at a rural hospital in North West Tasmania, which minimizes travel for patients whilst still providing access to specialist care.
Aim: This study aims to identify the benefits and any challenges of using telehealth for burn scar management from a patient/carer and staff perspective in a rural setting.
Method: This mixed method study will survey patients and/or their carers who have attended the telehealth scar management clinic as well as local therapists involved in burn care utilising written questionnaires. An audit has also been completed on attendance rates at the telehealth clinic.
Results: Findings to be presented will include some of the common challenges such as technical difficulties and attendance rates, as well as benefits such as reduced travel time and cost for patients and their families.
Conclusion: The findings will help to guide future practice on the use of telehealth in subacute burn care.
Wilson, LS & Maeder, AJ 2015, ‘Recent Directions in Telemedicine: Review of Trends in Research and Practice’, Healthcare Informatics Research, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 213-222.
Annette is a Senior Occupational Therapist working at The Tasmanian Health Service – North West Region with a passion for burn care and hand therapy.