The Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) service enables clinicians to collaborate across organisational boundaries to deliver the best care possible to patients with stroke, irrespective of their location. VST is a virtual service which currently links 17 Victorian hospitals and 2 Tasmanian hospitals to a network of stroke consultants who can provide treatment advice about patients with acute stroke symptoms. VST uses audio-visual communication between stroke consultants, patients and local clinicians and has real-time access to brain imaging to facilitate the remote consultations.
The VST service has grown from a pilot program conducted between 2010 – 2013 with Bendigo Health which was then rolled out to an additional 15 hospitals between 2013 – 2017. VST was administered during this time by The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. On 1 January 2018 VST officially transitioned to Ambulance Victoria.
VST has close integration with the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR), a collaborative national stroke outcomes and processes of care database to monitor, promote and improve the quality of acute stroke care.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.
Many rural and regional hospitals do not have a stroke specialist on site or lack around-the-clock access to stroke expertise. Through the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) service, a stroke consultant is only a phone call away to provide assistance to local hospital staff in the assessment and management of patients presenting with acute stroke symptoms. This enables time-critical clot busting treatment to be provided locally, reducing the need for travel to another hospital and also helps build capacity at the local hospital.
Victorian Stroke Telemedicine locations
VST Clinical Protocol
Victorian Public Healthcare Awards – Ambulance Victoria for Victorian Stroke Telemedicine
2018 Winner Safer Care Victoria award for Excellence in Quality and Safety
Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Awards
2016 Finalist (Honourable Mention), Working Seamlessly Across Organisations
American Heart Association / American Stroke Association
2014 Stroke Progress and Innovation Award
Victorian Public Healthcare Awards – VST Bendigo
2013 Excellence in Quality Healthcare – Silver Winner