Virtual Outpatient Integration for Chronic Disease (VOICeD)

Initiative Type
Model of Care
Status
Deliver
Added
09 October 2020
Last updated
26 November 2020

Summary

VOICeD allows a person with chronic disease to see multiple healthcare providers at one appointment, via telehealth. The person sees each specialist or care provider individually and a multidisciplinary team meeting  can be held to further support individualised and comprehensive care.

The model is being trialled in Cairns as a VOICeD Diabetes–Renal–Cardiac multi-specialist clinic. Diabetes, renal and cardiac conditions are often concurrent and may require more than 10 specialist outpatient appointments each year. The life burden of healthcare is high for people requiring the numerous appointments, investigations, and travelling for care. By integrating the appointments and providing a combined plan for care, we aim to reduce the impact on their life.

We have focused on the patient experience by designing workflows, patient contacts, and the telehealth experience in partnership with consumers and the Health Excellence Accelerator Lab (HIU and QUT Design lab).

Patients suitable for telehealth are suitable for VOICeD. The model is anticipated to be adaptable for specialist, nurse, or allied health led care.

Most benefit is anticipated for patients in rural and remote locations, where the patient cannot easily travel for care (e.g. aged care) or where the multidisciplinary care team is distributed across Queensland.

Security and privacy meet Queensland Health standards. VOICeD uses Queensland Health’s virtual clinic telehealth technology, which makes the service accessible at home, at community clinics, and on the go.

The first patient was seen in September 2020.

Key dates
Jul 2020
Jun 2021
Implementation sites
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.
Partnerships
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Statewide Diabetes Clinical Network (HIU), Statewide Renal Clinical Network (HIU),Statewide Cardiac Clinical Network (HIU), QUT Design Lab

Aim

To reduce the number of specialist visits and associated travel for patients with chronic disease by providing an integrated multi-healthcare provider telehealth appointment.

Benefits

  • Fewer appointments for patients
  • Less travel and interruption to their life
  • Better integration of care of multiple providers

Background

VOICeD started as a conversation on Thursday Island between a man living with diabetes and Dr Gaurav Puri, Chair Statewide Diabetes Clinical Network.

The man told Dr Puri he could not keep coming to the clinic to see different doctors about each part of his care. This man had three specialist appointments booked over two weeks, which would then require a fourth appointment with his General Practitioner (GP) to coordinate his care, and this cycle would recur every three months. Continual travel to the clinic was difficult and disruptive to his life. Thursday Island is only 3.5 square kilometers in area and it struck Dr Puri hard that the difficulties experienced by this person from a small island to keep up with medical appointments for underlying chronic disease would be same for other consumers living in urban, regional and rural areas.

The conversation inspired us to develop a specialist model that would assist the man and many people with chronic disease who face a similar situation of long term need for frequent healthcare from a multiple providers, and cannot easily access face to face care.

The Telehealth Virtual Clinic which expanded rapidly in 2020 was adapted to provide the required technical functionality. It offers a sustainable, enterprise supported technical solution.

Designing the clinic flows and patient experience with consumers was facilitated by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) user experience designers as the first project of the Health Accelerator Excellence Lab (HEAL), a collaboration between the Healthcare Improvement Unit and QUT-Design Lab.

 

Solutions Implemented

The VOICeD integrated telehealth model of care was implemented as  specialist Diabetes, Renal and Cardiac outpatient clinic in Cairns and Hinterland HHS.

Evaluation and Results

Patient reported experience, clinical outcomes and system economics evaluations are planned.

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Key contact

Dr Brent Knack
Principal Project Officer,
Healthcare Improvement Unit - Clinical Excellence Queensland
3328 9302
Statewide_diabetes_network@health.qld.gov.au