Helping to improve outcomes for chronic hepatitis C patients in WA prisons

Photograph of hepatitis C team
December 21, 2018

The hard work of a multi-disciplinary team working together to treat prisoners remotely through telehealth has recently been featured in a HealthDirect Australia online article.

The Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in consultation with RPH Outpatient and Telehealth units and the Department of Justice have developed a model of care that allows clinicians to use video technology to treat prisoners with chronic hepatitis C.

The team have been commended for the success of the program which is improving access to treatment, reducing waiting times and transfer costs of prisons and increasing the number of patients that can be seen via video call in prison compared to face-to-face clinics.

Dr Gurkiran Flora, Telehealth Coordinator for Royal Perth Bentley Group, explained the success of the program was down to the dynamic and highly-engaged team that worked together to develop and deliver this innovative model of care.

“This has been such an exciting year for the RPH Liver service and I am absolutely delighted to have been involved,” Dr Flora said.

Professor Wendy Cheng, Head of Department of the RPH Liver service has been the driving force behind this initiative.

“The hard work that has been put in by everyone involved in this project is definitely appreciated and has not gone unnoticed,” says Professor Cheng.

This rewarding joint initiative wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of Dr Adam Doyle, RPH Liver nursing team, prison nursing staff, RPH Pharmacy and RPH Telehealth staff in managing referrals, preparing patient results, booking appointments, facilitating the video calls, and organising medications for distribution to the correctional facilities.

The success of the program has allowed the RPH Liver and Telehealth team to establish a regular weekly video call clinic to accommodate eligible prison patients.

Read the full article is available on the HealthDirect website (external site) for insight into how this exciting initiative is helping to improve the way we deliver care.