Three years ago Clinical Nurse Consultant Therese Jepson and Staff Specialist Geriatrician Dr James Hardy set out on a mission to improve care for older patients in northern Sydney.
Therese and James introduced the use of videoconferencing in the Royal North Shore Ryde service Aged Care Rapid Response team (ARRT) to treat patients in their homes.
“Telehealth enabled us to the see the patient straight up and know immediately whether they required to come into hospital or not,” James said.
“It also allowed us to take action straight away, rather than having to jump in a car, drive to see the patient and then work out what’s going on.
“It speeds up the time where the care can be provided to the patient and it means the patient doesn’t unnecessarily need to be transferred to hospital.”
Initially the team piloted the initiative with a few aged care facilities, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit they were able to offer it to all aged care facilities across the district.
Therese said there was a lot of perseverance and hard work to get the project across the line.