The hard work and dedication of the team behind the Diabetes Telehealth for Country WA service has been formally recognised and celebrated at the WA Health Excellence Awards 2017.
Last night (8 November) the Diabetes Telehealth service was named the winner of the highly prestigious Director General’s Award. This award is chosen personally by the Director General of the WA Department of Health, Dr DJ Russell-Weisz, and is an over-arching award selected from among a field of eight category winners. The Diabetes Telehealth service also won the WA Health Excellence Award in the category of Overcoming Inequities.
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive these awards,” says Gill Denny, Manager of Teleservices at Diabetes WA.
“To win our category is wonderful, but to have the Director General also recognise the work we do is just amazing. We are very proud and grateful for the support of WA Country Health Service and WA Primary Health Alliance.”
Established in 2015, Diabetes Telehealth is the first service of its kind in Australia. It uses video-conferencing technology to link credentialled diabetes educators with Western Australians living in rural and remote areas of the State.
The team of four diabetes educators see up to six adults a day via video-conferencing, providing them with much-needed advice on living with and managing diabetes. The rest of the day is spent offering ongoing client support via phone and email.
“We know this service is making an impact,” says Mrs Denny. “In its first two years, the team has provided nearly 1900 consultations.”
Importantly the service is also greatly reducing the need for clients to travel, as educators can conduct the consultations by linking with local hospitals, GP practices or even the client’s own home laptop.
“Clients are appreciative that this service allows them to avoid the cost, disruption and stress of travel. So they are really embracing Diabetes Telehealth,” Mrs Denny says.
It is estimated that the service has saved more than 350,000kms of travel for clients.