Defeating distance with video

Defeating distance with video

Local ISV, Attend Anywhere, steps in to simplify matters for Australia’s 400,000 diggers and the medical staff that care for them.

Local ISV, Attend Anywhere, steps in to simplify matters for Australia's 400,000 diggers and the medical staff that care for them.

Armed conflict shapes and shatters national identities, local communities and individual lives. It imposes staggering duress on the fortunes and health of not only belligerent parties but of the economy, the environment and cultures it touches. Like all countries, the Australian story is marked by its wars.

We collectively declare valour, courage, honour, loss and shame in the memories of the Frontier Wars, Gallipoli, Kokoda, Long Tan and East Timor to name but a few. But once the fighting has stopped a new battle always begins when the diggers return home; the care and health of our veterans.

According to the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) there are more than 400,000 veterans spread across Australia. Many require continuous support for physical and mental issues suffered during their service of this country. And it is here that IT solutions are playing their part in easing the burden.

Logistical barriers

In line with its responsibilities to service the health needs of veterans, the DVA contracts over 50,000 healthcare providers, including the Veterans' Psychiatry Unit at Austin Health in Victoria.

Previously, in order to provide treatment for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and other mental issues the department was constrained by administrative obligations, time management concerns and geography.

To deal with this, DVA brought in Attend Anywhere, an Australian software developer servicing the healthcare sector, to help overcome the logistical barriers faced by doctors and patients alike.

"Our first contact with DVA was about four years ago," Attend Anywhere CEO, Chris Ryan, said. "They had no infrastructure from a videoconferencing perspective. Previously, they were flying doctors to rural and regional areas or paying for transport."

Consequently, opportunities for specialist doctors to meet patients were limited, the level of healthcare was impacted and transport costs were high.

Making life easier

Attend Anywhere implemented a solution that focused on centrally coordinating the Austin's services via a Web-based portal that provided administration, accounting, legal and quality assurance infrastructure.

"We developed some software to do all of the logistical stuff for internal staff," Ryan said. "They can set up a medical clinic, they can set up a training session, and they can do all the related administrative tasks."

This aimed to greatly decrease administrative time and also facilitate better understanding of the legalities involved through a library of legal information doctors can access.

"There are a reasonable amount of legal issues to consider when you are providing consultations from point A to point B," Ryan noted. "If it goes across state boundaries, for example, whose laws are you being governed by?"

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