The Centre for Geriatrics at Nus offers psycho-geriatric assistance via video or webcam to primary care facilities in southern Lapland and the Umeå region. The approach has been applied by Skellefteå Hospital to a limited extent since 2004 and by Nus since 2009. In recent years, the concept has been developed further as part of the EU project PrimCareIT (2012-2014), which involved seven countries in the Baltic region and aimed to address opportunities and barriers for tele-consultation and tele mentoring in primary care. The approach, now in routine practice, offers primary care staff support in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of psycho-geriatric problems, including dementia and other suspected cognitive disorders. Support is also provided to nursing of behavioural and psychological symptoms. Assistance is provided by psycho-geriatric specialists and, on occasions, specialist dementia nurses from the geriatric clinic and those receiving support are typically primary care GPs, district nurses, occupational therapists and nurses from special accommodations.
The approach contributes to increased availability to specialists and a more equitable health care as staff in primary care is given access to skills, which they had not had otherwise. In addition, the quality of assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care increases. This model also contributes to increased efficiency at the geriatrics department as this aid was previously offered face-to-face to primary care units in the urban areas. There are currently about 20 healthcare centres in the county who use the support. The Centre for Geriatrics at Nus also offer team conferences with nurses at Lycksele Hospital on a regular basis.
This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.