Incorporating Virtual Telehealth into the Oxygen Clinic in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).

Title: Incorporating Virtual Telehealth into the Oxygen Clinic in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).
Author(s): Cunneen S. Scallan C. Baily-Scanlan M. Cullen J. Moloney E. Lane S. Donnelly S. C. Subramaniam A. Varghese C.
Institution: Tallaght University Hospital
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: General Respiratory and Sleep
Abstract: The implementation of telemedicine services was necessitated internationally due to Covid-19 restrictions. A guidance document was published on the incorporation of virtual telehealth into oxygen clinics and TUH piloted the first virtual oxygen clinic in Ireland.

Patients on the waiting list were triaged, prioritised and further categorised based on their suitability for a virtual assessment (VA). VAs took place over the phone and patientMpower SpO2 monitors were used for remote monitoring. The one minute sit-to-stand test was used in place of the six minute walk test.
The pilot ran over a 3-month period and 66 patients attended the oxygen clinic during this time; 50% of attendances were VAs. Only patients who required an intervention that had to be completed face-to-face attended the hospital. Of the 33 VAs, the requirement for a subsequent face-to-face appointment was low (n=2), highlighting the efficacy of the triage system. Patients who received a VA reported they had no preference regarding virtual or face to-face appointments (n=10) or that they preferred VA (n=23).

The incorporation of VAs improved access to the oxygen clinic during Covid-19 and has resulted in a change in practice. Prioritisation, categorisation and VAs will continue to be a vital aspect of waiting list management going forward, with patients only attending for face-to-face appointments if they cannot be assessed virtually.

1. Murphy, D., Curtis, S., Cunneen, S., Cribbin, E. National Clinical Programme for Respiratory (COPD & Asthma) Guidance for the process of incorporating Virtual Teleheath into existing Oxygen Clinics. (2020).
2. Bohannon RW, Crouch R. 1-minute Sit to stand Test: Systematic Review of Procedures, Performance, and Clininetric Properties. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 2019; 39(1): 2-8.