The Centre for Online Health manages a research programme aimed at establishing and evaluating a novel telepaediatric service in Queensland.  The programme has been operating since November 2000 and is characterized by a centralized coordination unit, responsible for the facilitation of telepaediatric referrals [1].  This service is currently available to certain regional and remote hospitals in Queensland.

A range of communication technologies are used, including email, telephone correspondence and videoconferencing.  About 90% of all referrals result in a consultation via videoconference.

Over the last ten years, more than 11,000 consultations have been coordinated through the telepaediatric service.  The telepaediatric service is multidisciplinary, providing expert collaboration in a variety of fields including diabetes, endocrinology, burns, cardiology, dermatology, oncology, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, neurology and paediatric surgery [2-4].            

The service is proving extremely valuable for children and adolescents in rural and regional areas of Queensland.  It improves access to specialist health care services, reducing the need for families to travel to Brisbane for an appointment [5].  Cost savings for the health service provider and the family have also been identified [6,7].

The Centre for Online Health has two main studios which are equipped with high quality videoconferencing facilities.  These facilities are available for hire.  For further information about the hire of videoconference facilities click here.

References

  • Smith AC, Isles A, McCrossin R, Van der Westhuyzen J, Williams M, Woollett H and Wootton R. The point of referral barrier - a factor in the success of telehealth, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2001; 7 (Suppl.2): 75-78
  • Justo R, Smith AC, Williams M, Van der Westhuyzen J, Murray J, Sciuto G and Wootton R.  Paediatric telecardiology services in Queensland: a review of three years experience. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2004, 10 (Suppl.1):57-60
  • Smith AC, Youngberry K, Julie Mill, Kimble R and Wootton R.  A review of three years experience using email and videoconferencing for the delivery of post-acute burns care to children in Queensland.  Burns 2004, 30(3): 248-52
  • Smith AC, Batch J, Lang E and Wootton R.  The use of online health techniques for the delivery of specialist paediatric diabetes services in Queensland, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2003; 9 (Suppl. 2): 54-57
  • Smith AC, Williams M, Van der Westhuyzen J, McCrossin R, Isles A and Wootton R.  A comparison of telepaediatric activity at two regional hospitals in Queensland, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2002; 8 (Suppl. 3): 58-62
  • Smith AC, Youngberry K, Isles A, Mc Crossin R, Christie F and Wootton R.  The family costs of attending hospital outpatient appointments via videoconference and in person, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 2003; 9 (Suppl. 2): 58-61
  • Smith AC, Scuffham P and Wootton R.  The costs and potential savings of a novel telepaediatric service in Queensland, BMC Health Services Research 2007, 7:35, available online at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/7/35 [OPEN ACCESS]

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