[Truncated abstract] In Western Australia, over one third of patient injuries presenting to emergency departments involve the upper limbs. Fractures of the hand are the second most frequent upper limb fracture type. There is frequently a rapid turnaround time required from injury/surgery to follow-up medical, nursing and therapy care, combined with limited medical human resources, resulting in high service demands, significant wait times, and low patient satisfaction. Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) Plastic Surgery treats high patient numbers with a substantial proportion of rural and remote patients. Management of hand injuries in rural patients is impeded by issues of remoteness, isolation and limited specialist healthcare services. Telehealth is a valuable way of delivering care for rural patients and involves using information technology in the provision of health care over geographical distance. Telehealth in the Plastic Surgery unit at RPH is also a source of information for patients. Education provides patients with the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding, to act appropriately regarding their illness or injury, and to improve their satisfaction with health care. A disparity can exist between patient levels of understanding and how well the clinician perceives the information is understood, with patient understanding often presumed. Providing information in a way that is useful and understood therefore becomes the foundation to education, with written material recommended, and based on published guidelines. The bulk of the patient population for whom written information is intended should be able to understand the level of complexity of the material, with the key criteria being simple to read, but comprehensive and evidence based.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2012|