Ms Amber Jones1, Mr Perry Judd1, Dr Hannah Carter2, Dr Clare Burns1, Dr Angela Chang1, Ms Andrea Mc Kittrick1, Ms Anita Plaza1, Dr Michelle Cottrell1
1Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, 2Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation, Institute of Health and Biomedical innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Background: RBWH provides a state-wide specialist burns service to over 1,000 individuals annually. Historically, patients were required to travel to Brisbane to receive ongoing outpatient Allied Health care post burn injury. Telehealth presented an opportunity to mitigate many of the challenges in accessing these services.
Aim: To evaluate the implementation of the RBWH Allied Health TeleBurns Service as an alternative service model to prevent patients having to travel to access equivalent in-person services.
Methods: A multi-methods approach, embedded within the RE-AIM framework, was undertaken for all patients referred to the service between April 2019 – December 2020.
Results: Of the 318 referrals to the service, 623 consults were attended by 201 unique patients. Most consults (72%) were directly into the patient’s home, while 37 Queensland Health facilities were involved in supporting inter-facility appointments. Delivery of the service cost an average of $437 per appointment. An estimated patient travel distance of 522,197km was avoided, equating to a saving of $147,097 in subsidised travel expenses and $74,387 in estimated out of pocket expenses. This translated to an average of $1,101 in travel expenses avoided per patient. There were no adverse events or clinical safety incidents. Only 6.8% of all consults had major technical issues. High levels of satisfaction were reported by patients and clinicians.
Conclusion: The RBWH Allied Health TeleBurns Service was successfully implemented as an alternative pathway to enable individuals with burn injuries to access specialist care closer to home. Results may support the implementation of other telehealth burns services.
Amber Jones is the Occupational Therapy Trauma Team Leader at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Amber has worked within the Professor Stuart Pegg Adult Burn Centre since 2005. She has been an invited member of the International Society of Burn Injury (ISBI) Rehabilitation Committee since 2017. She is currently undertaking a PhD to develop and evaluate a telehealth model for the delivery of multidisciplinary burn care.