Healthcare in an NBN World a Hypothetical

Distinguished panelists were brought on stage and facilitated by Michael Gill to look at some hypothetical situations and how the new NBne neabled delivery of medicine might help them.

The first scenario was an older couple:

  • Living in their own home
  • South illawara NSW
  • Jack has slight dementia and Sue has sever arthritis
  • Unable to drive any longer.

Firstly Access to internet should be a right not a want, particularly when we see research showing that the use of computers and particularly engaging through social media can slow onset of dementia – we should all be doing it now !!

It’s important that people start to use and familiarise themselves with technology now before they need it – familiarise themselves with the tools e.g video conference.

eHealth readiness is important – and we need to look at technology that people actively embrace – social networking, online photo albums, games, reading the newspaper – and how we can use this to teach people how to interact and use digital so that when they need to use these same or similar tools for health this isnt’ a barrier.

It needs to be more than just doing what we do today via video – we need to take this as an opportunity to revolutionise and improve service delivery of health

Multidisciplinary care – many people are involved in the care and not just within the health system – wife looking after husband, daughter in London providing support to mum when she struggles with Dad’s increasing dementia, and of course the GP, specialists, nurses and allied health who work together to provide a care plan.

Aboriginal communities – the internet is so important it is the major communication tool for the whole community, and often shared.

In broadband rollout we should be doing the worst areas first it will make the biggest impact so don’t focus on improving urban areas already with good service.

Second scenario: Mr and Ms Jones, Family have opted to have a PCEHR, daughter with a chronic autoimmune conditions, live in Dubbo NSW.

Having their info in a shared online capacity such as the PCEHR means the patient has more choice to access other services, they don’t’ have to worry about who they choose to care for them having the info they need and through telehealth and remote consultations they don’t need to be limited by location either..

If the net goes down, where does the liability lie? People go back to basics, pick up the phone and dial triple zero get in the car and go to the docs, we need to ensure we dont’ fall into same old trap of letting hard cases create bad laws.

Health network needs to be strengthened, so that if disaster or other event, that the system is prioritised to stay online.

Dr Trevor Lord commented that there is enormous risk in doing a telephone consultation without having the record infront of you – and they have seen major improvements since making the records available in the kimberly. ( I really want to go to the Kimberly and see the amazing work they have done in action)

Need to think beyond just linking up doctors and doctors – it’s more than that and we need to ensure we think about this for the future of telehealth.

eHealth has revolutionised medication management for the kimberleys. We can create a dialogue with pharmacists again and involve them in the care.

It’s not about the people that provide the equipment –it has to be about the people understand about whats required, and use the money wisely and plan for the future –

Medication management is a definite area for improvement, simple reduction in mismedication, ED admissions etc through the use of PCEHR and eHealth to access accurate timely trusted information.

Dr Jenny May closed off with a brilliant vision – I’d like to get to a world where we drop the e it’s not ehealth, e education it’s just the way we do things. Here here!!

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