Virtual Care Centre
Australia's first paediatric-specific virtual healthcare service, virtualKIDS, will have a new home in 2021 with work now underway on a purpose-built Virtual Care Centre.
Virtual healthcare, which includes telehealth, safely connects patients with health professionals to deliver care when and where it is needed by offering a range of services via phone, video conferencing or remote monitoring, and allows clinical information to be stored or sent electronically.
“Care delivered virtually has been well received by our patients and families,” said Emma Dickins, SCHN Integrated Care Lead.
“The new Virtual Care Centre will provide an exciting and purpose-built space to support patients receiving care closer to home, under the principles of increased choice, equitable access, and personalised and family-led care, all in collaboration with local services.”
Virtual health care, facilitated by Virtual Care Centres (VCC), make it simpler and easier for patients and carers in remote and rural areas to connect to their clinicians, and enable shared care with local services.
And with a growing consumer acceptance for virtual care, even families who live close to hospitals will be able to opt in, ensuring health care continuity for patients who are too unwell for an in-person appointment, who prefer the convenience of a virtual care appointment, or when COVID restrictions are in place.
The first VCC will be located at Westmead, and is expected to be completed in late 2021. It will replace the temporary facility in the old Emergency Department, and will also be the first clinical building project in The Children's Hospital at Westmead Stage 2 Redevelopment.
Westmead's Virtual Care Centre will service the whole Network for the time being, however, a Virtual Care Centre will also be delivered at Randwick as part of the SCH Stage 1 /CCCC redevelopment with targeted completion in 2025.
The virtual care centres will be a co-located space between a number of departments including virtualKIDS, Kids GPS, Integrated Care, facilitate SCHN’s Disaster Response and coordination of Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) activities, and support broader hospital operations, providing workspaces for patient flow, after hours nurse managers, bed manager, and nurse staffing.
During planning and design the Project User Group, led by Emma Dickins and Nadine Shaw, have completed multiple rounds of consultation, producing floor plans and room layout and data sheets.
Recently, project user group members, project partners and architects visited showrooms to select the style of workstations, technology options and interior designs to support the new virtual care centre clinical care pods.
Emma Dickins said staff were closely involved in every aspect of the design.
“It was exciting for the team to gain a sense of the look and feel of our new Virtual Care Centre and to see all the work in planning and design phase come to life,” she said.
“We were presented with physical materials and layouts to consider for our workstations. In particular we focused on the clinical care pods where we will be delivering virtual care from.
“We selected materials that ensure privacy and confidentiality are maintained while elevating staff comfort," Emma said.
The Virtual Care Centre will located in the old Public Relations office on Level 2, adjacent to the Kids’ Health book shop and Parent & Carer Resource Centre.
The project team will ensure mitigation measures are in place for noise, dust and vibration with regular consultation of the stakeholders surrounding the site throughout construction of the project.
Currently, there is a temporary virtual care centre in the old Emergency Department at CHW which will move across to the new facility in late 2021.
For more information on the Virtual Care Centre or if you have any questions, contact the redevelopment team
Disruption Coordinator: 0417 110 187
Project: Virtual Care Centre
Location: Main Building, level 2
Construction start: 14 July 2021
Construction complete: Late 2021
Currently: On hold due to public health orders