The Agency for Clinical Innovation ( ACI ) places high importance on providing equity and access for patients to receive treatment and care throughout NSW . For those living in rural, remote and isolated communities across NSW, receiving expert care can be a challenge due to workforce availability and geographical isolation. Telehealth can help break down the barrier of distance for patient treatment and care and also improve staff education and networking. Telehealth can be used to deliver a service to a community that they may not have otherwise had access to.
ACI sees Telehealth as a tool that can help deliver and facilitate Models of Care and other health related activities, providing equity of access for all people including those who may be disadvantaged, and improving the delivery of health care programs to patients.
Telehealth is defined as the secure transmission of images, voice and data between two or more units via Telecommunication channels, to provide clinical advice, consultation, monitoring, education and training and administrative services. Telemedicine utilises the technology specifically to provide, support and improve access to quality clinical health care.
There are a number of parts of the health system that have a role in delivering Telehealth. The Ministry of Health provides the planning, policy and service development, HealthShare NSW provides the technical advice and support, the Agency for Clinical Innovation supports Models of Care and protocols for service delivery and the Local Health Districts deliver these services.
Technology alone does not bring about the change in practice; a key issue is associated with behaviour change. There are organisational, funding and implementation factors that need to be addressed for successful implementation and sustainability of Telehealth services.
Telehealth has great potential to facilitate better health outcomes within NSW Health.
Telehealth Capability Interest Group
Click here to access information on the Telehealth Capability Interest Group.