Dial a Dietitian – Telehealth for Aged Care Homes

Dial a Dietitian – Telehealth for Aged Care Homes

Leading Nutrition was invited to speak at the 2016 Melbourne and Tasmanian Better Health Practice Conference, run by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency on a new telehealth service – Dial a Dietitian.

“Rates of malnutrition are found to be high in aged care homes, and possibly even higher in rural and remote areas where dietetic access is limited”.

“Traditionally, homes located in rural and remote areas in Australia will have limited contact with a specialised aged care dietitian and when they do, it is always associated with large travel costs and significant waiting times. Unfortunately, this process in the past has not been an efficient use of time or money for the home and the dietitian, and consequently can impact negatively on the care of residents”

“Dial-a-Dietitian is about making the use of video conferencing technology (such as ‘Skype’) to provide residents and staff at homes with practical, sensitive and Best Practice approach to nutrition care dietitian service without the added cost of travel.”

Dial-a-Dietitian provides homes with an opportunity to receive Nutrition and Dietetic support and the expertise we would expect from a visiting or contracted dietitian service within a few clicks of a button. Having this available means there is increased access to a dietitian.

“This is probably one of the most attractive reasons for homes in rural and remote areas. Instead of having to wait weeks/months to get a full dietitian assessment of a resident, staff can literally turn on the computer, click a few buttons and an aged care specific dietitian is on the other side talking to the resident”

“We have found that many homes are interested in such a service but can be hesitant due to the lack of awareness on how to get started”

The team at Leading Nutrition are equipped and ready to assist homes with getting their technology set-up and arranging appropriate communication processes so that the Dial-a-Dietitian model can be used effectively.

“When you look at the long-term benefits of better access to specialised care, efficient use of time and large cost savings, this would outweigh the time/cost for the initial set-up within the home. We would like to see that telehealth becomes a mainstream service in the near future, not just with GPs, but with all allied health professionals”.

How does Dial – a – Dietitian work?

  • An appointment is arranged via contacting Leading Nutrition
  • A suitable time is booked and phone/email/Skype details are provided
  • After booking, guidelines will be sent to the facility detailing information which the Dietitian requires at the time of the appointment
  • At the appointment the Dietitian will liaise via video conferencing technology with the resident/facility staff to complete the resident assessment (just like would be done if the dietitian was onsite. Quality activities such as Nutrition and hydration meetings, education sessions etc (as requested) can also be completed.
  • Full resident reports are emailed to the facility within a couple of hours of completing the consult.

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If you would like more information, please contact Leading Nutrition on 1300 722 712 or via out contact page