Generous support by the Central Gippsland Health (CGH) Paediatric Telehealth Service will allow Bairnsdale Primary School to undertake valuable, online Paediatric consultations.

Funded by the State Government, the CGH Paediatric Telehealth Service is providing a laptop and trolley to the school to thank Bairnsdale Primary for its ongoing support and participation in the telehealth project, which concluded at the end of June.

The integrated CGH Paediatric Telehealth Service is led by consultant Paediatrician and Head of Unit, Dr Saba Subiramanian. A key goal of the service is to provide timely and appropriate care for children in the Wellington and East Gippsland regions. This service includes, but is not limited to, outpatients and inpatients in these regions.

The Paediatric Telehealth Project focused on the novel concept of delivering specialist care to children at primary schools in East Gippsland, involving key stakeholders including the parents, educators and school support staff, and minimising disruptions to the daily activities of the child and family unit. This collaborative care model has proven to be successful, and development of relationships with teachers and support staff will continue beyond the duration of the project.

Telehealth Project Officer, Sue Dobson, said the benefits of the service were immense with a particular saving on travel costs and time.

“The Telehealth Service provides direct benefits for patients, families and carers such as time and costs savings in terms of travel, time off work and school, and disruption to routine,” she explained.

The Paediatric Telehealth Service means families can make an online appointment with a specialist doctor and the entire consultation is conducted via a secure IT platform on the internet.

This computer on wheels (COW) will allow Bairnsdale Primary School to undertake Telehealth consultations in any room that suits, offering the freedom and flexibility of choice to ensure video calls are always undertaken in a suitably quiet and private space free from distractions.

Over the period of the CGH Paediatric Telehealth Project, its 264 patients and families have saved 58,527kms in travel, which is equivalent to driving around the coast of Australia four times.

“This also translates to savings of $8824 and 3099 tonnes of CO2 emissions,” Ms Dobson said.

Overall, a successful Paediatric Telehealth program has been embedded. Telemedicine is now a commonplace practice worldwide, and there is potential for expansion into adult specialist and allied health services.

Bairnsdale Primary School will be presented with its Telehealth COW on Wednesday 24 July at 2.30pm.



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