​​October 2021 edition

The impact of COVID on how we deliver care has been extraordinary. The 2021 COVID outbreak in particular has meant we have all had to think differently about how we support continued access to value based healthcare and how technology can enable us to do this.

​​Our experience with COVID has seen an unprecedented rise in the use of technology for patient care. We have also seen a considerable increase in remote monitoring of COVID positive patients in the community during this time.

Virtual care is not new – it has been evolving for many years in NSW. Our experiences during COVID have opened us up to new ways of thinking about how healthcare can be delivered. We are at a time where we are seeing innovations in technology transforming how healthcare is provided and received. We are also providing patients with more choice about how and where they receive their care.

The NSW Ministry of Health has developed the NSW Health Virtual Care Strategy for the next five years. This strategy describes a coordinated and consistent approach to sustainably scale virtual care. It takes a value based healthcare approach and aims to improve experiences of receiving and providing care, deliver outcomes that matter to patients and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care delivery.

The strategy will look at transferable elements of existing virtual care models and how they can be embedded into other models of care, including some Leading Better Value Care initiatives like diabetic high risk foot services and pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

Successfully delivering the strategy will require a variety of expertise from agencies and pillars to work together in a ‘one team’ approach. The NSW Ministry of Health has established the Virtual Care Taskforce to coordinate the development and delivery of the strategy. The Ministry is working with key partners, including the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), eHealth, Health Education and Training Institute (HETI), Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), local health districts, specialty health networks and consumer representatives to progress this work.

We look forward to sharing the strategy in the coming months.

Current as at: Thursday 21 October 2021
Contact page owner: Strategic Reform and Planning