The E-Viewer Study: Epworth Virtual Ward Round Study

The E-Viewer Study: Epworth Virtual Ward Round Study

Nilmini Wickramasinghe (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia & Epworth HealthCare, Australia), Louise O'Connor (Epworth HealthCare, Australia) and Jeremy Grummet (Epworth HealthCare, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1371-2.ch012

Abstract

For patients undergoing surgery in a multi-day admission, standard care requires that their surgeon review the patient post-operatively to check on their progress. This is usually done by the specialist attending in person. However, in the Australian setting, most specialists work at multiple institutions. As a result, review ward rounds, especially of post-operative patients, can be delayed, which can delay management decisions and discharge, which in turn may lower patient satisfaction. A telemedicine solution is designed, and results from a pilot test are examined to assess the benefits of incorporating an electronic discharge capability into the current process.
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Background

To understand the opportunity this project affords for providing a better patient experience as well as supporting more effective and efficient healthcare delivery and addressing and thus support clinician needs, it is necessary to understand key aspects around Telemedicine as well as the Point-of-Care, bedside terminal that is currently in use. In particular, without the Point-of-Care system the proposed study would not have been possible. Hence, a key aspect of this study is also around leveraging existing technologies to provide a better patient and clinician experience.

1.1. Telemedicine

Due to rapid developments in health informatics ((André et al., 2008; Basch, 2005; DesRoches, Painter, & Jha, 2013; Liu, Shih, & Hayes, 2011; Protti, Johansen, & Perez-Torres, 2009; Trudel, 2008), Telemedicine is becoming an important part of healthcare services and care delivery in both public and private hospitals (Zanaboni & Wootton, 2012; Wootton, 1998). Telemedicine enables healthcare organizations to expand their boundaries by using integrated and collaborative IT solutions.

Telemedicine uses and adoption in hospitals is considered as a major development not only at the technological level, but also at sociotechnical and cultural levels (Bashshur, Reardon, & Shannon, 2000; Mahmoud & Lenz, 1995; Perednia & Allen, 1995);. According to Bangert et al. (2000), implementation and adoption of telehealth in hospitals represents a “paradigm shift” and is likely to impact all levels of healthcare organizations. One of the largest telemedicine networks is the Cleveland Clinics on-line second opinion system1 that enables individuals anywhere in the world to access the Cleveland Clinic to get a second opinion consult.

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