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Novel ENT live telehealth and live video-otoscopy clinics in remote Australia: outcomes and comparisons to traditional clinic models

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2023

Luke M O'Neil*
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Surgery, Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Margie O'Neill
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Fiona Whelan
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Travis Leahy
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Otolaryngology, Medical School, The University of Notre Dame, Perth, Australia
Robert Wormald
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Anton D Hinton-Bayre
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Surgery, Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Joseph Ghandour
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia
Jafri Kuthubutheen
Affiliation:
Western Australian Country Health Service, Perth, Australia Division of Surgery, Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
*
Corresponding author: Luke O'Neil; Email: luke.o'neil@health.wa.gov.au

Abstract

Background

Coronavirus disease 2019 challenged the delivery of healthcare in Australia, disproportionately impacting vulnerable patients, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and those living in remote regions. The otolaryngology service provided to remote Western Australia adapted to these barriers by altering clinical consultations to a digital model.

Methods

A review was undertaken of patients in regional Western Australia. Demographics and clinical outcomes from 20 live telehealth clinics were retrospectively reviewed and compared to 16 face-to-face clinics.

Results

The demographics of patients reviewed in both live telehealth and face-to-face clinics were similar, except for a larger proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander patients utilising telehealth. The outcomes of patients reviewed through each model of care were comparable. Live video-otoscopy provided diagnostic quality images in 92 per cent of cases.

Conclusion

The findings of our review suggest that, despite its limitations, a large proportion of ENT patients may be safely assessed through a live telehealth model.

Type
Main Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of J.L.O. (1984) LIMITED

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Footnotes

Luke O'Neil takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper

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