Analysis of Skin Condition Emergency Department Outcomes via the Free Healthline Service From Whakarongorau Aotearoa.

Wilson, Miriama K
Pienaar, Fiona
Large, Ruth
Wright, Matt
Howie, Graham
Foliaki, Siale
Mikaere, Martin
Davis, Rebecca
Todd, Verity
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Journal Article
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Pasifika Medical Association Group

The aim of this research is to gain a deeper understanding of the ethnic and socio-demographic differences in the utilisation of the national 24/7 Healthline service in relation to skin condition calls and their outcomes. Healthline is one of the 39 free telehealth services that Whakarongorau Aotearoa | New Zealand Telehealth Services provides to New Zealanders. This is a retrospective observational study analysing Healthline data over a 4-year period: January 2019 through to December 2022. A total of 61,876 skin condition calls were analysed including demographics of service users: age group, ethnicity, area of residence and call outcome. Higher acuity skin condition calls resulting in an outcome of a recommendation for emergency department (ED) care accounted for 5.3% (n=3,294) of calls. This research found that Māori were over-represented in this ED recommendation data over four years (942 ED outcomes; 28.6%), and Pasifika were under-represented (203 ED outcomes; 5.9%). Wairarapa and West Coast were found to have the highest number of ED outcomes per capita. Our results support the theory that severe skin conditions positively correlate with smaller district populations and increased deprivation in access to services. This study highlights the potential that telehealth services have to help reduce the inequity of access to care.

42 Health Sciences , Emergency Care , Health Services , Clinical Research , 3 Good Health and Well Being , 11 Medical and Health Sciences , General & Internal Medicine , 32 Biomedical and clinical sciences , 42 Health sciences
N Z Med J, ISSN: 0028-8446 (Print); 1175-8716 (Online), 136(1586), 32-50.
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