September 28, 2022

VVED wins back-to-back Australian Business Awards

Northern Health’s Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) has been announced as the winner of two 2022 Australian Business Awards – ABA100 Winner for Digital Transformation and ABA100 Winner for Service Excellence.

The Australian Business Awards recognise organisations that demonstrate the core values of business innovation, product innovation, technological achievement and employee engagement.

Northern Health is the first public health service in Australia to provide a model for patients to self-present to a Virtual Emergency Department (ED).

“It has been an absolute privilege to lead this piece of work. At Northern Health, we are constantly looking for ways to provide accessible and gold standard care to our community. The Virtual ED team is thrilled to be recognised for this work,” said Dr Loren Sher, Director – Victorian Virtual Emergency Department. 

The Virtual ED was launched in October 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Health has a strong history of encouraging and supporting innovation amongst all staff. The idea for a Virtual Emergency Department was originally developed to address the increased number of patients presenting to the Emergency Department, as well as concerns that patients were presenting late due to fear of contracting COVID-19.

The innovative service was initially available to patients in Northern Health’s catchment area. In late 2021, the VVED partnered with Ambulance Victoria, to allow paramedics to connect to the VVED from patient’s homes, significantly reducing the number of patients transferred to hospital.

Due to the success of the program, the VVED has since expanded state-wide, so all Victorians can access emergency care 24/7 from the comfort of their homes. In addition, the VVED has expanded to GPs and rural health services.

In most cases, patients can be managed at home. Prescriptions can be delivered to patients’ homes and arrangements can be made for ongoing care. Approximately 40 per cent of patients who present to the VVED are referred through pathways and linked to rapid review clinics, ‘Hospital in the Home’ programs or other services.

Northern Health is extremely proud of the multidisciplinary team that have spearheaded the VVED and look forward to increasing our capacity to care for our community through innovative solutions.