This is an innovation project supported by the former Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund.
Many of the mental health patients who call Triple Zero (000) for assistance would receive more appropriate care from a specialist mental health clinician than from the paramedics that staff a typical ambulance.
However, for some patients, particularly those experiencing a crisis or who live in remote and rural areas without community-based mental health resources, calling Triple Zero (000) is their only option.
Currently, Victoria’s emergency call-takers are only able to triage patients through a voice call, which can deprive them of important visual cues that would help them fully assess the situation.
To more accurately assess mental health emergency callers and facilitate face-to-face care, Ambulance Victoria is exploring the use of text message-initiated video calls, which would connect patients with a mental health specialist.
- Reduce the number of emergency callers triaged by Ambulance Victoria Referral Service mental health nurses who are transported to hospital via ambulance
- Increase referrals to mental health services and the provision of self-care advice
- Improve the patient experience and satisfaction with care received
- Maintain or reduce the rate at which the ambulance service is contacted again within 24 hours for patients triaged through video
October 2020 – This innovation project was accepted in the Better Care Victoria 2019–20 funding round and is currently underway.