Jul 06
Chronic Pain Telehealth Project Benefiting Patients

A Chronic Pain Telehealth project supported by the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) has taken out two awards at the recent Western NSW Local Health District’s Living Well Together Health and Innovation Awards for 2016.

The project was recognised for conducting assessments and review sessions of chronic pain patients in rural areas using Telehealth, winning the Category 2: ‘Integrated Health Care’ Award and the Western NSW Local Health District Innovation Award.

In response to a recent review of the pain management model of care, Telehealth technology has been used to allow the multidisciplinary team in Orange Health Service’s Chronic Pain Clinic to assess patients in remote areas without the need to see them face-to-face.

Orange is one of the first two facilities in the state to implement the Telehealth model of care to treat patients with chronic pain.

Director Chronic Pain at Orange Health Service, Dr Claire Sui said the project increased access to chronic pain services for patients in rural and remote areas.

“This project successfully increased patient access to chronic pain services using state-of-the-art Telehealth services that are transforming the way we deliver healthcare in Western NSW,” Dr Sui said.

“Telehealth has proven to be a highly effective means of delivering specialist services to patients in rural and remote areas in the Local Health District.”

“32 Telehealth sessions were completed as part of the project with 100% of patients surveyed reporting they would continue to use Telehealth technology in their treatment,” she said.

More than 9000 kilometres of patient travel has been saved since July 2015 with patients from both Orange Health Service’s Chronic Pain Clinic and the Children’s Hospital Westmead’s Complex Pain Clinic the first facilities in the state to implement the Telehealth model.

“Patients surveyed said the technology was easy to use and they appreciated the time saved travelling, with some patients noting they did not have to take any time off work or school to attend the session,” Dr Sui said.

“We would like to thank the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation for their assistance through the journey and the Chronic Pain Telehealth toolkit which they developed to guide us through the project.”