Central Adelaide doctors helping virtual care service ease pressure across state’s emergency services

Central Adelaide’s Dr Jyotsna (Jo) is one of 12 physicians supporting South Australia’s Virtual Care Service (SAVCS), helping patients get care closer to home and keeping SAAS crews on the road.

The statewide SAVCS was established in December 2021 to ease the pressures on health emergency services across the state.

The service provides SAAS crews and regional clinicians real-time video consultations with senior decision-making clinical support while on scene.

Dr Jo said the SAVCS helps the wider health system by reducing the number of Emergency Department (ED) presentations.

“We have an ED avoidance rate of 67% which helps reduce the ED workload and gives them more time to focus on higher acuity patients,” Jo said.

“We achieve this through video consultation with patients and often organise follow up with their GPs, priority care centres and other hospital avoidance services”.

If a hospital admission is required, clinicians have visibility across the statewide network so they can facilitate a faster admission, while ensuring that appropriate handover of care occurs.

The top patient conditions recorded by the SAVCS are respiratory, followed by cardiovascular, neuro and gastrointestinal.

“A major benefit for patients is to get the care that they need in a timely fashion in a place that’s most appropriate whether that’s at home, in a primary care setting or hospital,” Jo said.

More doctors are being recruited to support an expansion of the service.

“I find the work very meaningful and I believe that this service will continue to grow and serve the community,” Jo said.

Also supporting the SAVCS from CALHN are Dr Jane, Dr Tam and Dr James.

The service operates from 10am-10pm every day of the year and is supported by staff from all local health networks.