The launch of the 24/7 Remote Health Monitoring Service by the South Australian Health Minister Chris Picton was the culmination of a sustained period of work by a determined and skilled group of collaborators – including Country SA PHN, the Rural Support Service, and Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network (iCCNet).
The 24/7 service is a brilliant example of an innovative idea being bought to life to support country South Australians to access care when they need it from their place of residence – homes or residential aged care facilities. For the first time in South Australia, participants can now measure their vital signs at home using a monitoring kit and be assessed by a nurse or doctor live ‘on screen’ at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.
This greatly improves access to urgent care particularly for our country communities who often need to travel vast distances. avoids unnecessary visits to hospital emergency departments, provides patients with around the clock assurance and support, and supports rural General Practitioners. It creates a significant breakthrough, and a fundamental improvement in the way health care is delivered now and into the future.
This service is fully funded by Country SA PHN enabling it to be offered free of charge to country South Australians ordinarily at risk of hospitalisation who are aged 15 years and over with a GP referral.
After referral, patients are given a take home kit, including a smart tablet. They can check their blood pressure, oxygen levels, pulse rate and temperature and upload results to a secure website. A specialist nurse reviews the results and speaks to the patient before deciding the next steps, which could include escalating care to an after-hours GP service.
The productive collaboration between Country SA PHN and iCCNet is also delivering the MyHealthPoCiTT for Point of Care Testing and virtual home monitoring in some general practices and residential aged care facilities. As well as the Country Access to Cardiac Health program - a telephone-based rehabilitation service for cardiac patients.
I would like to congratulate all those who have been involved in the 24/7 Health Monitoring Service for their vision, expertise, and capacity to turn this exciting concept into a reality for the benefit of country South Australians.