The NSW Telestroke service is now live across four sites, giving regional patients access to 24-hour critical care.
Approximately 19,000 strokes or transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) will be experienced by NSW residents this year, with more than a third of people hospitalised for stroke being from regional, remote or rural areas.
The Organisational model of care: Telestroke provides guidance to implement world-class, hyperacute stroke care via telehealth, giving regional patients access to 24-hour critical care.
Since the NSW Telestroke service went live in March, it has provided more than 200 episodes of care working in collaboration with the clinical teams at referring hospitals.
The service connects rural and regional hospitals with a network of virtual specialist stroke doctors. It supports local doctors to clinically assess, diagnose and plan treatment for patients with suspected stroke.
The host site at Prince of Wales Hospital works with a roster of clinicians from Central Coast LHD, Sydney LHD, South East Sydney LHD, Northern Sydney LHD and Hunter New England LHD.
Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour hospitals went live with the service on 16 March 2020, Lismore went live on 8 September and Orange went live on the 28 September. Implementation is progressing at, Dubbo, Bathurst and Shoalhaven, with these sites anticipated to go live by the end of the year and early 2021
Kick-off meetings have been completed or are planned at Wagga, Griffith, Deniliquin, Tweed and Grafton.
The service will expand to up to 23 sites across NSW over the next three years.
Due to COVID-19, the implementation approach has shifted, from a phased approach to an agile approach, which means staggered ‘go lives’ over the next few months
“Telestroke levels the playing field as much as possible for those living in rural and remote areas of NSW,” says Professor Ken Butcher, Telestroke Clinical Director. “Patients in those areas can now access sub-specialist stroke care when they need it most.”
Access more information about Telestroke from the ACI Stroke Network.