Article

01.10.2019 16:06 Age: 16 days

Command Centre: the latest innovation in country healthcare


The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Command Centre is the latest innovation in country healthcare, bringing together new and existing emergency and specialty services in a 24/7 ‘virtual’ clinical hub to support regional doctors and nurses in delivering quality care.

The Command Centre builds on the successes of the award winning Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) to deliver a digitally enabled, dedicated specialist clinical workforce to every WACHS site in real time, via videoconferencing, and will continue to evolve with the three services currently being provided set to expand and additional services to be added in 2020.

Along with the Emergency Telehealth Service, the current Command Centre services include the Inpatient Telehealth Service, providing virtual ward rounds to patients admitted to country hospitals when the local GP is unavailable, and the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service, providing access to specialist mental health nurses and psychiatrists for country clinicians caring for patients with acute mental health, and/or substance affected conditions, presenting to WACHS emergency departments.

Health Minister, Roger Cook officially launched the Command Centre at a media event this morning, highlighting the innovative approach the WA Country Health Service are taking in providing healthcare in our regional and remote communities.

“This represents a whole new way of providing healthcare for people in our country communities - whether you’re Barry in Kondinin or Mary in Roebourne - what this means is you can go to a clinic right across Western Australia and get access to some of the very best clinicians available to our health teams, Minister Cook said.

The Minister further added that the exciting aspect of this work is that it has enabled 75 per cent of patients who use the Emergency Telehealth Service to be discharged from their local hospital without needing to be transferred elsewhere for treatment.

“This is terrific technology and it means in Western Australia we are leading the world when it comes to remote and regional healthcare, Minister Cook said.

“In Western Australia we have 2.5 million square kilometres of area where we are providing advanced healthcare. This is the biggest and most isolated single health authority jurisdiction in the world, so the way we deliver healthcare has to be unique.

“In order to provide healthcare right across this vast state, we have to be the very best and this is an exciting insight into the sort of technology that we have at hand,” the Minister added.  

Command Centre Director, Kylie Bosich said one of the wonderful things about the WACHS Command Centre is that it is supporting our colleagues in the country.

“They do an amazing job, they’re highly skilled clinicians and being able to have access to other specialist skills and advice helps support their patients.

“It’s exciting times as we build and grow and expand into new areas,” Ms Bosich added.

A range of new Command Centre services are currently under development and due to commence in 2020. These include coordination of all patient transport requests, increasing timely availability of specialist advice via videoconference, such as obstetrics and peadiatrics, and the use of innovative technology to support detection of unwell and deteriorating patients. 

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