New Telehealth Teaching System at the University of Adelaide improves student teaching and access to healthcare for patients.
Medical students will be trained in important areas of practice where it has been difficult to get enough clinical experience, thanks to a new telehealth network established at the University of Adelaide.
The Unicare e-health project makes it efficient and easy to communicate via video from the university to hospitals, rural general practices, specialist practices and other health services.
Dr Victoria Wade, Clinical Director of the Adelaide University UniCare Telehealth Project, said that the network is being used to deliver medical services and medical student training at the same time, so students can be trained in real-world areas of medical practice.
“The team behind the project has been involved in over 270,000 video consultations but we are breaking into exciting new territory by using the telehealth application for clinical teaching by video,” Dr Wade said.
“For example, each week, 12 to 15 medical students observe a child and adolescent psychiatry assessment with Professor Jon Jureidini at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital then participate in a video tutorial about the assessment. Previously, only one or two students at a time could have this experience, and many students missed out.”
Dr Wade said that the telehealth service also can improve patient care. “General Practitioners can connect their patients to specialists sooner, and get quick advice for urgent situations. Patients save time and money on travel and get better access to health care. Specialists can follow up their patients more easily with improved continuity. All of this results in better patient care, especially for rural and remote areas.”
Using telehealth for clinical teaching has these additional advantages:
• Students have a wider range of clinical experience, so they start professional practice better prepared.
• Students have hands-on experience in delivering services by Telehealth
• Better support and backup can be given to students, so they can do their best for patients and for their own education.
The Adelaide University Unicare e-health project is expanding this approach to other healthcare students, including psychology, counselling, and those undertaking rural placements.
For more information on The University of Adelaide Unicare e-health Telehealth Project, please visit http://www.e-unicare.com.au
For interviews, background information or photographs, please contact Dr Victoria Wade Clinical Director Adelaide UniCare e -health Telehealth Project on 0417 878150.