The New Zealand TelePaediatric Service has developed a “home to hospital” video-conferencing service, so terminally ill patients who live in the country can be cared for at home.
The service, the first of its kind in New Zealand, is a real-time, managed video-conferencing system that connects rural palliative-care patients to the oncology department supervising their care.
Patients have 24-hour access to medical care through the system, despite living in remote areas. Patients can consult with local doctors, as well as specialists in main centres, without having to travel long distances to do so.
The NZTPS H2H (hospital to home) system means young patients can be treated at home, and so stay with family, friends and whanau, rather than having to be confined to hospital.
The NZTPS project’s goal is to provide a higher quality of life for the patient and his or her family. The system ensures that, for example, terminally ill children and their caregivers have access to instant support from medical-care providers.
Feedback from patients’ families has been very positive, so far. Families say the instant connection provides a feeling of security. Care-providers report the system allows for greater continuity of care, through having access to the whole family, and to local GPs and nurses.