Telehealth enhances rural healthcare
Opotiki GP and Chair of the Rural GP Network, Dr Jo Scott-Jones believes that telehealth can radically improve the way rural GPs care for their patients by offering them new services closer to home.
Telehealth can also give GPs the necessary professional development, they often can't access in a small town.
In his own practice, Dr Jo Scott-Jones has been using technology for years to enhance the services his Church Street Surgery can offer patients.
"We have always been a practice that keeps up to date with technology, whether it's having regular updates to software and hardware or being an early adopter of using ACC forms and Healthlink online."
This use of technology was the reason why Ernie Newman, facilitator from the Telehealth Demonstration project approached Jo about being a lead clinician in the Opotiki Telehealth trial, which has now become business as usual. The video equipment and training was provided by the project which is supported by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, the National Health IT Board and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.