Virtual workforce solution to target unmet clinical care needs
A new virtual workforce solution, iAgeHealth, hopes to solve the unmet clinical care requirements in regional, rural and remote aged care.
Launched after a two-year testing and development phase, the clinical and technological solution is designed to remove geographical barriers and offer regional, rural and remote residential aged care facilities increased access to qualified clinicians, 24 hours, seven days a week.
The service, developed by McLean Care with input from specialists at Deakin University, had a soft launch at the ACCPA National Conference 2023 and is now available to residential aged care providers across the country to sign up.
McLean Care Chief Executive Officer Sue Thomson said, “Older persons should have access to care and services they need to keep well, regardless of their geographical location.”
“One in three Australians live in regional, rural and remote communities and have poorer access to health services, poorer health outcomes, higher levels of disease and lower rates of life expectancy. A big reason behind these outcomes is the inequity of services available. Older people living in rural and remote communities simply don’t have the same access to clinical care because of their location.
“Those living in rural and remote areas will understand how far the distances they have to travel to access health care can be. For example, we regularly hear reports from within the aged care industry that older people in residential aged care can wait more than two weeks to see a physiotherapist. With this new technology, a remote physio can assess and treat older people within 24 hours, particularly in urgent cases such as after a fall,” Thomson said.
Using a ‘virtual’ hub of specialist clinicians based anywhere in Australia, iAgeHealth provides access to a broader pool of staff not limited by geographics. This includes 24/7 access to registered nurses and seven-day access to a multidisciplinary allied health team led by a nurse practitioner, including physiotherapists, dieticians and other allied health professionals working collaboratively with registered nurses. The service also offers clinical specialisations such as wound care, diabetes management, chronic health management and more.
iAgeHealth provides a full end-to-end diagnostic, treatment and care management process that is informed by a range of integrated clinical IoT devices. The time for consultation will be allocated based on urgency of care required, but often residents will be seen in less than an hour from the initial request. Clinicians can assess the resident in real time and develop clinical treatment plans tailored to the individual resident’s needs.
“The service can even provide collegial support for sites with less experienced registered nurses, or where access to particular specialisations such as wound care will result in improved clinical outcomes.”
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