Virtual fracture clinic trial launched at Broken Hill
Communities across far western NSW are set to benefit from the start of a new virtual fracture clinic trial for uncomplicated fractures.
The virtual fracture clinic went live throughout the Far Western NSW Local Health District on 26 April and is running in partnership with Sydney LHD to allow patients to receive follow-up care for their injury at home, at work or school, without having to travel to a hospital or wait in a busy clinic.
Broken Hill Health Service physiotherapy staff are supporting and facilitating the implementation of the project, in partnership with RPA Virtual Hospital (rpavirtual) service.
NSW Regional Health Minister Ryan Park said the virtual fracture clinic means patients in remote and regional areas can access treatment without having to travel long distances.
“It’s all about making sure that people can have confidence in virtual medical care right across NSW,” Mr Park said.
“What we’re doing is combining the very best in medical staff and care with virtual services which mean our patients can get their treatment closer to home.
“That’s good for the system, that’s good for the community and it’s good for people who live outside our major centres.”
Project Lead and rpavirtual Physiotherapist, Min Jiat Teng, said the partnership is ensuring eligible patients receive quality care regardless of where they live.
“Virtual fracture clinic patients at Sydney LHD have reported excellent experiences and access to care,” Mr Teng said.
FWLHD Senior Physiotherapist Brianna Turley said the new service will reduce time spent on case managing patients with simple fractures through a more streamlined process.
“Min Jiat and the rpavirtual team have done an amazing job at providing easy to understand resources that detail the patient’s journey with their fracture,” Ms Turley said.
Patients with specific uncomplicated fractures seen at the Broken Hill Health Service Emergency Department can be referred to rpavirtual’s Virtual Fracture Clinic by their treating ED clinician for the follow-up care of their injury.
The rpavirtual physiotherapist contacts the patient at home to provide support and a suitable management plan.
In most cases, the patient does not need to return to the health service to be seen by local clinicians.
More complicated fractures needing a cast are still referred through usual channels and seen by the physiotherapists at Broken Hill Health Service.