Occupational therapy led paediatric burn telehealth review clinic – keeping kids closer to home

Ms Debra Phillips1, Dr  Gail Kingston1,2, Dr  Daniell Carroll1,2, Dr Harry  Stalewski1,2, Dr  Bhanu Mariyappa Rathnamma1, Mr Tim  Males1, Dr  Tilley Pain1,2, Ms Rebecca Watson-Brown1

1The Townsville Hospital,

2James Cook University


Rural and remote children post burn injuries are geographically disadvantaged compared to metropolitan residents. Studies have shown rural children are more likely to require skin grafting and have increased complications (Hyland et al. 2015).  The North Queensland Paediatric Burns Service identified an opportunity to provide an alternative service utilising telehealth.  Telehealth is clinically effective for reviewing patients post burn injury (Wallace et al. 2012). In response to clinical need the Occupational Therapy (OT) Led Pediatric Burn Telehealth Review clinic was developed.


To develop and evaluate an OT-Led Paediatric Burn Telehealth review clinic.


Service design was based on stakeholder consultation and needs analysis to establish clinical guidelines and a delegation framework to allied health assistants.  Evaluation included: patient and clinician satisfaction surveys; number of patient reviews pre- and post-implementation of the telehealth clinic.


To date forty- three families have been reviewed. Families have received between one and six telehealth consultations saving travel time up to 12 hours per appointment. Surveys demonstrate family and clinician satisfaction. There has been an increased frequency of clinical reviews post implementation of the model.  Less than one percent of consultations have required re-engagement with paediatric surgeons.


The OT- Led Paediatric Burn Telehealth Review clinic has increased the frequency of clinical reviews, saved patient travel time and reduced demand on paediatric surgeon appointments in the Burns clinic.   Success of this local study will provide a template, including resources developed, for other Health Services to implement the model.

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