Virtual clinic survey saves time for burns outpatients

Two men stand beside each other. One man is holding a phone with the screen facing away from him.
FSH Burns Outpatient Clinic Physiotherapist Paul Gittings and Multidisciplinary Team Officer Graeme McLeod.
November 7, 2019

In collaboration with the Health Support Services (HSS) ICT Web Applications Team, Fiona Stanley Hospital Burns Outpatient Clinic has developed an integrated digital solution that is saving time for patients and clinicians.

The Virtual Clinic System (VCS) enables hospital clinicians to send quality of life (QoL) surveys to patients via an SMS text message to obtain crucial information about their injuries, health and wellbeing. Patients complete the survey on their mobile device through a secure online platform prior to their appointment.

The system reduces the need for patients to complete QoL surveys at their appointments and enables clinicians to prepare appropriate treatment plans and interventions aligned with the patients’ needs.

FSH Burns Unit Multidisciplinary Team Officer Graeme McLeod said the introduction of VCS in May this year has led to a 40 per cent increase in the number of patient surveys completed before their clinic appointments.

“Clinicians were able to use the appointments to focus more on assessing their patient’s injuries and providing effective treatment,” Graeme said. 

“This has reduced the length of clinic appointments by about 10 to 15 minutes and enabled the clinic to see more patients.”

HSS Application Portfolio Manager Peter McKelvey said the use of VCS has since been extended and implemented for FSH outpatient follow-up letters and there are plans to introduce the system to other health service providers.

“We’ve been working with various clinical and corporate teams at North Metropolitan Health Service, Child and Adolescent Health Service and Royal Perth Hospital to better understand how the VCS can help improve their systems,” Peter said.

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