Female patient lying in bed with arm raised looking at computer monitor.

NSW Telestroke Service

The NSW Telestroke Service provides specialist stroke care to patients in rural and regional NSW, connecting local emergency physicians with 24/7 access to expert stroke clinicians via video consultation.

The NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between eHealth NSW, the Prince of Wales Hospital,
the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the NSW Ministry of Health.

Nurse and doctor examining patient results on a computer screen.

The Challenge

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in Australia. It is a time-critical medical emergency that requires access to specialist physicians for rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment. With more than a third of people hospitalised for stroke in NSW from regional and rural areas, the challenge was to provide physicians in these areas with access to expert stroke clinicians and advice.

Clinician wearing a headset examining patient results on a computer screen.

The Plan

After extensive consultation with Local Health Districts and NSW Health organisations, it was determined that a state-wide NSW Telestroke Service would be established at 23 key locations in regional and rural NSW by June 2022.

Launched in March 2020, eHealth NSW worked in partnership with the Agency for Clinical Innovation, Prince of Wales Hospital and the Ministry of Health to implement the technology solution delivering the service.

eHealth NSW leveraged its existing capabilities including the state-wide unified communications platform in hospital emergency and radiology departments, the state-wide Enterprise Image Repository’s (EIR), 3D Image manipulation and the Perfusion Post processing solution, Rapid AI.

Using video consultation technology, the Telestroke virtual team can provide remote specialist assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning for patients with a suspected stroke.

My family were so relieved that I was getting instant attention. By the next morning I was back to normal. I couldn’t be more grateful knowing that strokes can lead to permanent damage. I have told a lot of people about Telestroke and they think it is wonderful.
Valerie, Patient, 2022
Head shot of Valerie, a telestroke patient.
Female nurse examining patient results on a computer screen.

The Outcome

The NSW Telestroke Service is available at 23 referring sites in regional and rural NSW.

The platform supports communication across hospital and district boundaries, and its screen sharing and collaboration functions enable remote viewing of electronic medical records, real time scanning review of images and live patient assessment.

The platform also enables teams to include patients, carers and additional clinicians (e.g. from ECR centres) in the consultation and decision-making process.

Telestroke is helping local treating clinicians decide whether a patient should be given urgent treatment to dissolve a clot at their local hospital or be transferred urgently to a specialised stroke centre for more complex treatment.

You can read more about Telestroke and other virtual care initiatives on the NSW Health website.

Patient lying in MRI bed with nurse standing on the side.

The Benefits

Apart from saving patients’ lives, the NSW Telestroke Service has many benefits including:

  • Providing immediate access to specialist services and advice
  • Reducing waiting time from diagnosis to rapid treatment
  • Providing faster patient assessment turnaround times
  • Supporting remote viewing of electronic medical records, real-time review of images and patient assessment
  • Delivering care closer to a patient’s home and their family
  • Improving patients’ quality of life post treatment.

Key Stats
sites have the NSW Telestroke Service available
lifesaving consultations
(as of 15 June 2022)
of Australia’s top 20 stroke incidence hotspots are in regional and rural NSW
residents in NSW have a stroke each year

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