80% of SA ER Patients Declined Hospitalisation In A Pilot

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The virtual care programme at South Australia Health has begun to be implemented at more than 120 residential care institutions in the state. This comes after a trial in 11 senior living facilities run by Eldercare since the beginning of the year.

The South Australia Virtual Care Service (SAVCS) collaborates with the SA Ambulance Service, regional hospitals, and aged care homes to offer an individualised assessment service through video link for urgent patients who are on the scene with responders. To evaluate, analyze, and choose the best and safest solutions for emergency patients, first responders can consult senior and specialised medical experts through video on an electronic tablet.

The SAVCS pathway transfers to the patient’s home the clinical teams’ expertise that is often only accessible in the ED.

About 70% of SAVCS participants during its study received urgent care in place, as opposed to ED admissions and pointless triple-zero calls. The court site operations manager at Eldercare Acacia, Samantha Miller, stated that the SAVCS provides an easily accessible healthcare service to prevent hospital transports for elderly residents.

Additionally, the virtual service decreases hospital emergency presentations, saving valuable hospital resources for those who truly need them.

Around 10,000 residents of state-run elderly care facilities are expected to benefit from the programme, according to SA Health. Northern Health in July also opened access to its virtual emergency department service to residents of aged care facilities and COVID-19 patients receiving home treatment through the COVID-19 Positive Pathway Program in an effort to further increase its capacity to handle emergency patients during a COVID-19 outbreak.