The CEIH Improvement Showcase brings together teams to share the improvements made in healthcare in South Australia. It provides a platform where teams around the state can come together and connect to explore why improvements were needed, how the change occurred, and what impacts they had.
Improvement Showcase 24: Telehealth for Dental Emergency Triage: A Response to COVID-19 and Beyond
When South Australia was facing the genuine likelihood of COVID lockdowns, a digital health solution was needed to remotely triage dental emergencies, reliably capture patient histories, and deliver emergency specialist dental telehealth consultations. The solution needed to be stood up within days and support rapidly changing COVID protocols.
Manual workflows were converted into digital patient pathways in partnership with Personify Care. Patients were invited to their care pathway via SMS, provided a secure checklist that screened their health history and, where appropriate, triggered an emergency dental specialist video consult via Health Direct Video Call.
Within the first 24 hours of South Australia’s November 2020 COVID lockdown, the digital patient pathways enabled SA Dental staff to triage and provide emergency care to 90 inbound patients remotely. As a result, only one patient required hospital attendance.
The solution has now been extended into other pathways involving SA Dental, including the pre-admission assessment of urgent and non-urgent patients prior to oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and referral to the oral and maxillofacial surgery waiting lists at the Adelaide Dental Hospital.