Plans for national telestroke network as big green button pushed at 16th hospital
The driving forces behind the successful Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) program are hoping to set up a national telestroke network to ensure people living in regional areas can avoid the “postcode bingo” that often sees them receiving a lower level of stroke care than people living close to metro hospitals.
The pioneering program has just gone live at Wonthaggi, its 16th and final hospital in regional Victoria, allowing emergency department clinicians throughout the state to have 24/7 access to a consultant neurologist who can diagnose a stroke from a distance and immediately order treatment or transfer.
VST clinical program lead Chris Bladin told the Australian Telehealth Conference in Melbourne today that since the program first commenced in 2012-2013 with $7.3 million in funding from the federal Health and Hospitals Fund, almost 1500 consultations have taken place and many patients have been transferred to Melbourne for endovascular clot retrieval or treated with clot-busting thrombolysis, with sometimes remarkable outcomes.
Posted in Australian eHealth