The Diabetes WA Helpline, in conjunction with Diabetes Telehealth (the videoconferencing education and support service for people living with diabetes in rural and remote WA), is being used as a front-line conduit to improving diabetes management and patient care in remote areas of Western Australia.
The DWA Helpline enables rural health care professionals to set up more timely appointments with Teleheath Diabetes Educators. The DWA Helpline staff can then triage calls from remote and regional clients and/or health professionals and facilitate a faster Telehealth appointment with reduced waiting time.
This will particularly benefit WA’s Aboriginal Medical Service, where quicker or immediate access to appointments results in much higher attendance rates and ultimately much improved health outcomes.
A recent example of a successful consultation was with Broome Aboriginal Medical Service (BRAMS). The BRAMS Chronic Disease Nurse (CDN) contacted the Diabetes WA Helpline to request support for initiating a patient starting on insulin injections.
The CDN nurse from Broome was instructed on how to link in using the Telehealth video call facility, and then, along with her patient present, was connected directly with Alison Menzies, one of Diabetes WA’s Telehealth Educators. The patient, BRAMS CDN and the Diabetes Telehealth DE met via video call on two subsequent occasions and were able to successfully educate and support the patient on administering and managing her insulin injections.
“This example shows how technology can bring people together. My patient was supported with the CDN, the CDN was upskilled on insulin starts and the whole experience from a credentialled diabetes educator perspective was hugely rewarding,” Alison explained. “Technology and our diabetes Telehealth service allowed access to information to support for someone living remotely. We were able to bring diabetes education to rural Australia.”