TelePROMPT for mental health patients
The Telehealth Prehospital Response of Mental health and Paramedic Team, known as TelePROMPT, provides better access to care for mental health patients who call Triple Zero (000).
In most cases, AV can provide better and safer care at home by using TelePROMPT which is staffed by experienced mental health clinicians who provide expert advice and referrals to other services that better meet the patient’s needs.
Prior to TelePROMPT, about 80% of mental health cases receiving an ambulance response were transported to an emergency department and almost half of those were discharged within four hours.
TelePROMPT was designed in partnership with lived experience consumers, clinicians, and subject matter experts under the AV Patient Care Academy (PCA). The service was launched in November 2020 to provide a new way of caring for patients needing mental health support.
TelePROMPT is a state-wide service available 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
How TelePROMPT works
Paramedics with a patient can call TelePROMPT and rapidly connect with a mental health clinician who assesses the situation via telehealth technology. Together, they can decide on the best care option – be it self-care, referral to alternative care or hospital treatment.
This is what the TelePROMPT pathway of care looks like:
Benefits to patients, paramedics, and the health system
- introduces a more streamlined and positive experience for mental health patients.
- enhances the experience of paramedics by giving them improved confidence to respond to the care needs of mental health patients.
- reduces unnecessary transport to hospital emergency departments, which is not always the best place for patients with mental health issues to receive care.
In its first two years, TelePROMPT supported 2,866 patients, and of those, 77% were connected to more appropriate care, improving positive patient-centred health outcomes, and reducing unnecessary transport to hospital.
TelePROMPT continues to deliver better health outcomes and a positive experience that minimises stress for mental health patients when they call Triple Zero (000), and at the same time relieves pressure on the entire health system.
By avoiding trips to the emergency department, TelePROMPT has also improved the availability of ambulances in the community to reach the sickest patients faster.
In 2021, TelePROMPT received the Human-Centred Service Award at the annual IPAA Victoria Leadership in the Public Sector Awards and the Excellence in Patient Care award at the national Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) Awards for Excellence.