The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network has been looking at how to employ more commodity software for telemedicine, the SCHN chief information officer, Bill Vargas told the CeBIT eHealth 2014 conference this morning.
The SCHN includes the Westmead and Randwick children’s hospitals, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS), the Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network (PSN), and the Children's Court Clinic.
“Telemedicine is probably one of the things we’ve been looking at,” Vargas said. The SCHN has “invested very heavy into telemedicine specifically for areas like telepsychiatry,” the CIO added.
“We are very heavy into psychiatry and having telemedicine for rural areas and all over the state.”
“One of the things we’ve looked at and we’re starting to look more closely at, is [using] more commodity software for telemedicine,” the CIO said.
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The SCHN has been employing Microsoft Lync as a tool for telemedicine after implementing it over the last year. Clinicians have been using the Microsoft UC system for consultations with patients in areas such as Dubbo and Armidale.
The Network has been “very successful" when it came to employing Lync for endocrinology consultations.
The CIO said that SCHN has been investigating federating Lync with Skype, which will extend the options for delivering remote consultations with patients.
In March, the SCHN announced that telemedicine technology was being installed at NETS, which would allow specialists at NETS to receive video footage when hospitals made emergency calls to the specialist service.