Medical Specialists can beam into Portland to help with emergencies

PDH’s Dr Yaser Dardr can call on specialists via the new telemedicine system.
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Portland District Health (PDH) has successfully introduced a new telemedicine system that links the hospital to expert around Australia.

PDH can now access expert advice for most critical care patients at the flick of a switch.

Within its first week of operation, the system has been successfully used to help a man injured in a car crash.

The system, which includes a flat screen television, microphone over the patient’s bed and camera to allow interactive communication, was purchased with the support from Portland Aluminium.

Accident and Emergency Unit Manager Dennyel Smith said the new system put Portland’s Emergency Department at the forefront of telemedicine in Victoria.

“Small rural hospitals cannot employ every type of specialist” Ms Smith said.  “The new telemedicine system allows offsite specialists to see and interact with Emergency Department patients and PDH clinicians to improve the quality of patient care.”

Ms Smith said PDH was working with Adult Retrieval Victoria (ARV) and The Royal Children’s Hospital to expand the model of telemedicine.

PDH has also developed a link that allows eye specialists at the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital to view real-time magnified images of the eyes of patients with eye emergencies.

“In these cases people can be seen in PDH Emergency Department for consultations using this system rather than having to drive to Warrnambool or further” Ms Smith said.

“It is very helpful to be able to call on experts for critical care patients” Ms Smith said.

PDH was congratulated by Ambulance Victoria’s (ARV) after the first telemedicine consultation.  In this case ARV was able to observe the patient via the new system and talk to nurses, a surgeon and doctors.

STORY BY Portland Observer  PICTURE BY Josh Nash, Portland Observer


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