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J Telemed Telecare. 2017 Dec;23(10):850-855. doi: 10.1177/1357633X17734004.

Transitioning from a single-site pilot project to a state-wide regional telehealth service: The experience from the Victorian Stroke Telemedicine programme.

Author information

1 Stroke Division, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia.
2 School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, 22457 Monash University , Australia.
3 Bendigo Health, Medical Services, 22457 Monash University , Australia.
4 Internal Medicine Department, 72537 Northeast Health Wangaratta , Australia.
5 Medical Services, Echuca Regional Health, Australia.
6 Clinical Services, Goulburn Valley Health, Australia.
7 Eastern Health Clinical School, 22457 Monash University , Australia.
8 Department of Medicine and Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.
9 Victorian Stroke Clinical Network, Department of Health and Human Services, Australia.


Scaling of projects from inception to establishment within the healthcare system is rarely formally reported. The Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) programme provided a very useful opportunity to describe how rural hospitals in Victoria were able to access a network of Melbourne-based neurologists via telemedicine. The VST programme was initially piloted at one site in 2010 and has gradually expanded as a state-wide regional service operating with 16 hospitals in 2017. The aim of this paper is to summarise the factors that facilitated the state-wide transition of the VST programme. A naturalistic case-study was used and data were obtained from programme documents, e.g. minutes of governance committees, including the steering committee, the management committee and six working groups; operational and evaluation documentation, interviews and research field-notes taken by project staff. Thematic analysis was undertaken, with results presented in narrative form to provide a summary of the lived experience of developing and scaling the VST programme. The main success factors were attaining funding from various sources, identifying a clinical need and evidence-based solution, engaging stakeholders and facilitating co-design, including embedding the programme within policy, iterative evaluation including performing financial sustainability modelling, and conducting dissemination activities of the interim results, including promotion of early successes.


Telemedicine; remote consultation; scaling

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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