Microsoft Teams application on mobile and desktop devices.

Virtual care a winner for patients and clinicians

16 January 2023

Video Technology and how it supports the delivery of virtual intensive care has played an important role in a recent award win for the Sydney Local Health District.

The CIO Best Projects 2022 Health Care awards recently recognised the application of the Virtual Intensive Care Unit (vICU) initiative by Sydney Local Health District and Far West Health District.

The CIO50 Best Projects 2022 Health Care awards acknowledge initiatives that lead through innovation externally and internally.

eHealth NSW originally partnered with Sydney Local Health District and Far West Local Health District to establish vICU, a Microsoft Teams-based video conferencing service that allows seamless care across the state.

The vICU initiative uses 4K high-definition cameras attached to the clinician workstations on wheels, as well as the Critical Care Overbed Network Cameras (CCON).

This provides clinicians at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) with superior quality audio visual capabilities so they can provide support to patients in Broken Hill ICU.

According to eHealth NSW Program Director, Infrastructure Jason Matthews, vICU leverages the significant investments made by NSW Health in core infrastructure, networking and unified communications systems which underpin the delivery of the 24/7 innovative solution that has transformed patient experiences and the delivery of ICU care.

“Being able to connect our clinicians in real time with patients requiring critical care can prevent unnecessary and costly transportation of patients to Metropolitan hospitals and reduces stress/discomfort for patients,” Mr Matthews said.

“This technology is especially beneficial for indigenous patients and communities, who often prefer to remain ‘on country’ and close to their families.”

This is the first virtual ICU service of its kind to ever be offered by NSW Health, connecting clinicians, patients and carers from Broken Hill Base Hospital in real time with nursing and medical staff at Royal Prince Alfred Intensive Care Service (ICS).

You can read more about virtual care here.

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