Patient and doctors communicating via teleburns technology

Teleburns Pilot reduces travel for regional patients

22 March 2022

eHealth NSW has partnered with the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), the Concord Burns Unit and the Griffith Specialist Clinic to pilot Teleburns, a new service for treating burns patients in regional and remote areas of the state.

Teleburns is based in Sydney Local Health District’s Concord Repatriation Hospital and uses eHealth NSW’s newly installed videoconferencing technology that connects burns patients who present at Griffith Specialist Clinic with specialists at the Burns Unit to provide wound, function, scar and pain assessment and support via the Teleburns digital solution.

The new video teleconference technology at the Griffith Specialist Clinic includes a pan tilt zoom camera and a handset with speakerphone functionality. It is attached to a mobile workstation that connects to the Burns Unit using Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. With the help of a nurse on the ground at Griffith Specialist Clinic, a clinician in at the Burns Unit can assess the patient and view and assess high resolution images of the burns.

Technology supports recovery at home

Patient Garry Knagge recently suffered burns to his face, neck, arms and hands. He was transferred from Griffith Hospital to Concord Repatriation General Hospital for surgery and an 18-day admission.  After his return home to Griffith, his recovery was supported via Teleburns with ongoing specialist care and co-management at Griffiths Specialist Clinic.

“This service has allowed me to come home earlier and be with my family and in my own environment with the support of the Burns Unit in Sydney. I had access to the same quality of care in Griffith that I would have received in Sydney.

“The support and positivity of the clinical staff has been great for me mentally throughout this journey,” Garry said.

Patient and doctors communicating via teleburns technology
Teleburns Pilot reduces travel for regional patients

Concord Burns Unit Nurse Practitioner Miranda Pye said there was very little difference between Teleburns and face-to-face outpatient care.

“Teleburns is easy, accurate and patients and clinicians love it. The Teleburns camera is the best quality camera we have access too. It’s so good you can see every hair follicle. Visual quality is vital as we diagnose and treat burns visually, via color, capillary return, size and anatomical location,” Miranda said.

Griffith Specialist Clinic Registered Nurse, Alba Papasidero, said Teleburns had been working very well and patients were happy with the service, especially due to the reduced travel.

“All the patients are happy to consult via video camera if it means not having to travel to Sydney. It’s been fantastic, as we can have Miranda or other clinician review the patient on camera, said Alba.”

Pilot program delivers outstanding results

During the four-month pilot at Griffith and Concord Hospitals, 82% of patients benefited from Teleburns either through avoiding lengthy travel for consultations and in many cases early discharge from hospital.

The Concord Burns Unit helps treat burns patients across two thirds of NSW and the ACT, which includes 11 health districts and 5.5 million people. Following on from the successful Telestroke program, eHealth NSW will work with the Agency for Clinical Innovation to explore expanding the Teleburns pilot across the state.

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