Sarah: I’m a type 1 diabetic. I’ve had diabetes for over 20 years now. I’ve never had to call an ambulance before because my condition’s really well managed. When my beautiful kids bring gastro home from kinder, however, if I catch that bug, it wreaks havoc with my blood sugars. One night it was quite late at night, I wasn’t feeling really well, and my blood sugars started to plummet downwards. My sweet husband said, “Sarah, I need to call an ambulance.” And then the crew came to my home.
Jason: We attended Sarah and her condition requires to administer the medication to her to improve her blood sugar and reduce her nausea and vomiting.
Sarah: The crew were incredible. Part of that process. They said to me, “Do you know what Sarah? We really need to make sure that everyone’s sort of on board and happy with this. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to call a clinician in the emergency department.” And I said, “What do you mean? What is this?” And they said, “It’s called VVED. We’re going to basically go onto this webpage, log in and basically get an ED physician on the phone to have a video consult.” And my mind was blown. I thought this was amazing. I’d never heard of this before.
Dr. Susan Miller: VVED stands for the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department. Sometimes we just call it the Virtual ED. And this is a Department of Health funded, 24/7, 365 day acute care service that any Victorian can use. The main goal of the Victorian Virtual ED is to get the right patient, the right care at the right time in the right place.
Sarah: As a mum with two little kids, getting to the hospital can be really challenging. So, now that I know that resource is available to me, I absolutely will utilise it in the future moving forward. It doesn’t cost me anything. I can access it from anywhere that I’ve got internet access or a mobile device, and I have got the privilege of being able to speak to an emergency department physician about the concerns that I’ve got.
Jason: Virtual Emergency Department’s useful for patients who have caring responsibilities, who have limited ability to transport themselves to the hospital or to their local doctor, especially when they don’t necessarily need an ambulance transport.
Dr. Susan Miller: Even though this is a video call, even though I can’t see and touch you in person, we’re still able to provide exceptional care.
Sarah: I think it’s absolutely incredible, the access with people to not need to rely on getting out in their car or getting out into the community and going to actually see someone face to face just adds that extra level of availability and accessibility for people in the community. It鈥檚 amazing.