- WA Country Health Service celebrates one year of its innovative command centre
- Facility provides around-the-clock specialist care to country communities through videoconferencing technology
- More than 21,000 patients seen in first year of operation - 70 per cent of which have avoided transfer and received care close to home
One year on from its official launch, the WA Country Health Service's Command Centre has enabled specialist level care on country for more than 21,000 Western Australians living in regional WA.
The 24/7 virtual clinical hub is staffed by more than 140 doctors and nurses who utilise state-of-the-art videoconferencing technology to support country clinicians in the care of their patients across emergency, inpatient and mental health care.
Now operational at more than 85 hospitals and nursing posts - with five more sites to be enabled by early 2021 - the innovative hub has enabled 70 per cent of patients to avoid medical transfer and continue receiving care on country and close to home.
It has also connected Western Australia's largest remote Aboriginal community - Bidyadanga - to emergency specialists for the first time with plans for further expansion and support to non-WA Country Health Service sites including Silver Chain.
Most recently and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, critical care doctors were also added to the list of available specialists in the command centre's Acute Specialist Telehealth Service stream.
Work is also underway to add other speciality fields such as palliative care, obstetrics and paediatrics as well as a one-stop shop for the co-ordination of patient transfers.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"There's no doubt bridging the healthcare gap between cities and rural communities is no easy feat.
"The State Government commends the WA Country Health Service for their work in harnessing technology to enable a better, more equitable health system.
"We know telehealth technology has been on an upward trajectory for some time but we also know that here in Western Australia, the WA Country Health Service has really propelled it forward.
"One year on from its launch, the organisation's command centre has worked with country clinicians to treat more patients locally - reducing the need for transfer.
"Whether it's been emergency, inpatient or mental health care, learning that the State Government has been able to support 70 per cent of patients to receive care on country only reaffirms our commitment to ensuring high-quality healthcare for all Western Australians regardless of where they live."
Minister's office - 6552 6500