Introduction: The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service provides public health services to almost 300,000 people in a predominantly rural area and including the major regional centre of Toowoomba. Currently, Occupational Therapists based in Toowoomba Hospital provide support to approximately 10 rural Occupational Therapists to assist in appropriate assessment and treatment of hand injuries via a ‘hub and spoke’ model. Historically, tools used to support this practice have included: phone, email and photos. Objectives: Using telehealth has been shown to: • Improve access to health services for patients living in rural and remote areas; • Reduce travel time and expenses associated with this access for both patients and health practitioners; and • Improve access to education/support for remote health practitioners. As such, it is proposed that regular use of telehealth tools (i.e. in room videoconferencing) could greatly enhance efﬁciency and outcomes of patients with hand injuries. The objective of this quality activity was to determine the beneﬁts of telehealth for hand injury management in our predominantly rural health district. Method: A literature review and survey to explore current use of telehealth models in the area of Occupational Therapy service to assessment and treatment of hand injuries is being conducted. Results: Outcomes will be collated with ﬁndings and themes to be presented within this poster. Conclusion: The results of this investigation will identify best practice and inform future models of service delivery to provision of Occupational Therapy services for hand injury management in rural and regional centres.
26th Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) National Conference and Exhibition: Changes, Challenges, Choices, Melbourne, Australia 1-3 July 2015
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal / Vol. 62, Supplement 1, pp.22