In partnership with Mobile Health and
The New Zealand Telehealth Forum


Video Interpreting Service Adopted in Health - 2/3/2015vri

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is a service providing New Zealand sign language users with easy access to sign language interpreters in remote locations. The service covers government agencies, but in recent times has seen increasing use in the health sector.

In the health care setting, the patient attends an appointment with their health care provider as usual. A video link is then established between the health care facility and the remote interpreter, allowing the interpreter to translate effectively between the parties.

All communications between the patient and health care professional are kept in strict confidence by the interpreter. The interpreters are required to be qualified and must abide by the Sign Language interpreters association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) code of ethics.

This service is provided to deaf people free of charge. The service must be booked two days in advance. Patients wanting to access this service can do so by following a simple online booking process on the VRI website:

Telemonitoring Project Success - Feb 2015 staying strong

Staying Strong was a collaborative pilot between integratedliving, Australia's First Peoples and the Department of Health to specifically trial telehealth with older Aboriginal people to improve access to health services and build capacity for self-management of people's own health conditions.

The pilot which was independantly reviewed by Cartwright Consulting, successfully demonstrated that telemonitoring can be applied to the clinical management of patients with multiple morbidities; capturing documented evidence that showcase how telehealth monitoring enabled better health outcomes; and identifying a range of factors that would either support or inhibit the uptake of telehealth opportunities within this population group.

The pilot project also found that the telehealth model can be useful in reducing the cost burden of healthcare, showing that the remote telehealth monitoring model costs less than half of the face-to-face model, demonstrating that telehealth monitoring is a cost effective way to deliver better health outcomes for people living in regional, rural and remote Australia

Click here to read the full report.

Using telehealth to improve access to care - 26/2/2015using telehealth

New Zealand Telehealth Forum Chair Dr John Garrett has welcomed a statement from the Medical Council about the growth in telemedicine.

Medical Council Chairman Andrew Connolly said the concept of telemedicine was fantastic, and potentially offered benefits to patients and doctors alike.

He said the challenges as telemedicine became increasingly mainstream were to ensure there were appropriate standards to protect patients and that doctors practising telemedicine were competent.

Dr Garrett said there are many ways telehealth can be used to improve access to quality care for patients.

"We are pleased to see the growth of telemedicine in the primary sector. Telemedicine has been in use for some time now in the hospital sector, with the protocols for specialists seeing patients being well established," he said.

"We are now seeing growth in its use by GPs and other community providers, and it is good to have a clear statement from the Council."

Click here for the Full Story

MCNZ cautions patients about telemedicine - 12/2/2015MCNZ caution

The Medical Council today cautioned patients about some of the potential pitfalls of telemedicine and at the same time highlighted the need for doctors practising telemedicine to be aware of Council's expectations when using technology to diagnose and treat patients.

Council chairman, Mr Andrew Connolly says the reality is that telemedicine will increasingly become mainstream, but the challenge is how to manage it and ensure that there are appropriate standards to protect patients and to ensure the competency of doctors practising telemedicine.

'We are working closely with the New Zealand Telehealth Forum to develop safe and effective telemedicine systems and processes'.

The Council has a number of Statements on Telehealth, the Use of the internet and electronic communication and Good prescribing practice that Mr Connolly is encouraging doctors to become familiar with.

'Doctors practising telemedicine have a responsibility to both their patients and themselves to know what Council's expectations are in this new area of medicine.'

'The concept of telemedicine is a fantastic one that potentially offers benefits to both patients and doctors alike.

'But it is important that both patients and doctors are aware of the pitfalls of undertaking consultations on the internet, for example, a diagnosis made purely online, without a physical examination has the very real potential to be wrong.'

Click here to read the full story.

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