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Tunstall is supporting patients during in-home dialysis treatment.

Tunstall telehealth receives APNA training accreditation

Tunstall Healthcare has recently received confirmation of APNA endorsement for its new ICP telehealth training program.

Tunstall Healthcare Clinical Services Manager Ruth Skinner-Smith said the successful accreditation was a recognised validation of the program’s quality offering.

“Nurses may now claim up to 25 CPD hours from successful completion of our Tunstall telehealth training package,” Ms Skinner-Smith said.

“Telehealth or, patient remote monitoring services are now offering a new model of healthcare delivery and we are very pleased that our innovative training modules have been recognised for their contribution to quality nurse education.

“Tunstall’s comprehensive ICP telehealth training packages educate participants on the working processes and required etiquette of telehealth services.

“Our modules teach participants how to coach and assist patients with equipment use and assimilation to regular vital sign interviews, familiarise them with patient triage software and management, and prepare them on scheduling and conducting patient follow-up appointments via video conference,” Ms Skinner-Smith said.

For further information on Tunstall Healthcare’s telehealth solutions and nationally accredited APNA training packages visit www.tunstallhealthcare.com.au call 1800 611 528.

Follow Tunstall Healthcare on Facebook and Twitter (@tunstallhcare).

In-home telehealth putting patients in-touch with dialysis

In a world first, Tunstall is working closely with Melbourne’s Western Health Department of Nephrology to provide an innovative telehealth solution supporting patients during in-home dialysis treatment.

Officially commenced July 2013, the Home Therapies utilising Tele-Health Guidance and Monitoring Project (HUG Project) employs the latest in telehealth technology to give new patients the confidence to choose a home modality and to closely monitor and support patient on home dialysis. This world-first project aims to deliver an improved standard of care to home dialysis patients, increasing patient take up rates from 16 to 33%.

Early results from the HUG Project are proving the significance behind telehealth innovation.

The trial is using a customised version of Tunstall’s Integrated Care Platform (ICP), in conjunction with Baxter in-home dialysis equipment, enabling patients to conduct their own dialysis and monitor their health from home. Everything supplied by Tunstall has been customised for this program—health interviews, data records, and even translations for languages other than English.

Data, including weight and blood pressure for each patient, is reviewed by a practice nurse every week day, and this is supported by a video conferencing which allows the nurse to assist patients with correct needling and to review exit sites for infection or inflammation.

To-date, the trial is showing encouraging results. Since the introduction of the telehealth program, patients presenting to hospital have reduced by almost 50% and the number of patients choosing in-home dialysis has doubled to the targeted 33%.

The previous model of in-home dialysis care involved episodic intervention, spaced weeks or months apart, but with Tunstall ICP telehealth technology the practice nurse is able to detect and address issues such as patient exit site wound infections early, and introduce the treatment of antibiotics, reducing the likelihood of hospital re-admissions.

The Tunstall telehealth solution has enabled an integrated approach to in-home dialysis management, allowing the care team to be responsive to changes in the patient’s condition and individual circumstances. It is also enabling a continuum of feedback from patient to care team, with the care team now readily able to monitor the impact of pharmacological interventions and lifestyle choices on the patient’s condition.

Early results of the HUG trial indicate that by applying telehealth to condition management such as in-home dialysis, the patient’s care team can be more involved in education, helping the patient to better manage their condition—saving patient stress and improving patient health, without the traditional impact on staff time and resources.

The HUG project had been made possible by funding provided by the Victorian Government and the Victorian Department of Health.

The HUG Project team aim to complete their analysis by mid-2014.

For further information on telehealth and current Tunstall trials visit www.tunstallhealthcare.com.au