Trial program to connect health professionals across the Wimmera

CONNECTED: Emergency Department registrars Ash Khan and Chris Pryke speak to nurse Nicole Schneider in Nhill through the telehealth system. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
CONNECTED: Emergency Department registrars Ash Khan and Chris Pryke speak to nurse Nicole Schneider in Nhill through the telehealth system. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

WIMMERA health services are banding together to treat patients.

Wimmera Health Care Group is partnering with West Wimmera Health Service to trial a program to help people who attend urgent care centres in the region see a doctor without travelling beyond their local health service.

Wimmera Health Care Group director of clinical services Don McRae said the trial would use the innovative new after-hours care system using video conferencing would work across the region.

“This will be a huge benefit to urgent care centres such as Nhill because their patients will have greater access to health care professionals,” Mr McRae said.

“When a person attends after hours and there is no doctor on, a nurse will assess them and if they need to see a doctor, will connect the person via telehealth with one in the Horsham emergency department.

“The patient will either then be admitted, transferred or sent home.”

Mr McRae said the program was being trialled between the hours of 5pm and 10pm and across seven days a week.

The trial is due to start on Monday.

“We think this program will benefit patients, doctors, nurses and also reduce the burden on Ambulance Victoria who occasionally had to transfer patients to Horsham, when they could have been assessed via telehealth,” Mr McRae said. 

Mr McRae said if the program is successful, it would be expanded to other urgent care centres across the Wimmera.

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