Virtual clinics making patient’s lives a lot easier
For mum of three and Kilcoy resident Danika Vella the expansion of Metro North’s virtual diabetes clinics has made it easier to juggle life, work, health and family pressures.
Danika, who has diabetes, had to attend regular specialist and diabetes appointments in Brisbane to help monitor her ongoing health, as well as the concerns of her children.
“It’s made life a lot easier to not have to travel or take time off of work to attend an appointment, as you often have to take the kids with you,” Danika said.
The primary school teacher of 20 years would often take regular trips to Caboolture or Brisbane to attend her diabetes appointments.
“Every three months we also had to go see a paediatrician for my children,” Danika said. “The virtual clinics are a lot more convenient without the travel and it feels like you are in the room with the Nurse Practitioner or doctor.
“I don’t have to leave my house and can still be there for the kids. There is no traffic, no stress and you don’t have to find a car park.”
Community and Oral Health Diabetes Service Nurse Practitioner Kerry Porter said we have been trialling virtual clinics in Metro North for some time.
“The COVID-19 response has seen us fast track our virtual clinic use, supported by the expansion of telehealth technology,” she said.
“Between March and June 2020, close to 400 virtual appointments have been offered through the Metro North Diabetes Service.
“Virtual clinics do not replace all face to face appointments but provide another tool or option for patient care.”
Kerry said the increase use of virtual clinics was not only safe, but time efficient for the patient as it allows the clinician to view the patients results remotely which the patient can upload from the comfort of their home.
“We have found that patients are attending more regularly, as the cost of travelling to centres can be an issue for many,” she said.
“In future we expect that the use of telehealth will expand as we introduce more equipment into our community-based clinics – with virtual clinics the way of the future.”
Danika said technology use in health was very important for people living in remote areas like Kilcoy to help access more health services.
At the same time, the increased use of mobile diabetes technology and devices to record and monitor patient conditions is increasing the effectiveness and safety of virtual clinics.
The Community and Oral Health Diabetes Service aims to empower clients to manage diabetes and preventing diabetes related complications.
The service is offered at Caboolture Community Health Centre, Chermside Community Health Centre and North Lakes Health Precinct, and also supports patients in The Prince Charles, Redcliffe and Caboolture Hospitals.
Find out more about Danika’s stork by viewing the video below: