Virtual emergency department goes 24/7

18 December 2017

Western Australia's innovative virtual emergency department has expanded to a 24/7 service, just in time for the summer holidays.

Telehealth consultation with doctor, nurse and patient

The WA Country Health Service's Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) is now available around-the-clock from its 78 rural and remote locations.

The service acts like a virtual emergency department, with specialist emergency medicine doctors available by video call to support local doctors and nurses in providing high-quality emergency care.

People living in or travelling to these small communities across the State will be able to access care locally and, in the event of an emergency, have access to support from expert clinicians in Perth when required.

The ETS started in 2012 to support doctors and nurses to provide emergency care in nursing posts and small hospitals in rural and remote locations.

It is available across the State and has supported more than 58,000 emergency cases since it began, and now deals with about 300 cases a week.

In about 75 per cent of cases, patients can be treated at the ETS site, which means they don't have to be transferred to a more distant hospital with a traditional emergency department.

Expanding the service to 24/7 will make a big difference to outcomes for emergency patients in these remote locations.

Read more about telehealth.