The Emergency Telehealth Service – an innovative service delivery model for rural and remote EDs using telehealth technology and a specialist emergency medicine workforce. ETS empowers nurses to deliver timely, quality emergency care with the support of specialist doctors and a comprehensive education program within a supportive teamwork environment.

Mrs Yvonne Zardins, Melanie Goode1

1WA Country Health Service, Perth, Australia


The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate how technology and innovative service delivery can empower rural and remote nurses to deliver timely emergency care with the support of specialist emergency physicians via telehealth.

The Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) aims to deliver accessible, quality emergency medicine (EM) to country patients.  High definition video conferencing equipment, installed in participating EDs enables ETS to deliver accountable, timely EM – supporting patient management in 76 rural EDs seven days a week. ETS doctors activate and control the equipment in response to a call for assistance ensuring local clinicians are hands-free to care for their patients.

  • An innovative model of care places specialist Emergency Physicians ‘in the room’ with rural clinicians and patients.
  • ETS has demonstrated the capacity to deliver improved access and outcomes for rural emergency patients.
  • Enhances local clinician learning and capacity, enabling better management of high acuity patients, supporting professional development and reducing professional isolation.
  • Enhanced community confidence, reinforced by positive nursing and patient feedback.
  • ETS has delivered over 46,000 consults with 75% of patients treated and discharged home, demonstrating the ability to manage a variety of clinical cases.
  • Provision of high quality education by specialists directly into remote sites both through dedicated program with flexible learning framework and real time learning.

Effectively pioneering a new service delivery model for emergency medicine, ETS has raised the clinical standard of patient care in rural hospitals empowering nurses to deliver immediate care. ETS has introduced improved emergency medicine clinical governance, leadership, support and educational and learning opportunities that is generally only available in metropolitan EDs.  ETS is repeatedly and positively referenced by local communities, clinicians, and health consumers as a valuable addition to the local hospital.




Melanie is a graduate of the University of the West of England in Bristol UK and has long had a passion for Emergency Nursing.  In 1999 she completed a Post Graduate in Accident and Emergency Nursing and in 2001 a second degree in Paediatric Nursing.  Melanie has worked in large tertiary EDs in the UK and WA, but has most enjoyed her time working in rural and remote WA.  Roebourne was her first experience in 2008/9, followed by Onslow, Mulan and more recently Three Springs in the Midwest.  Her interests have diversified into education, learning and development.  With moving to Perth she has become part of the Emergency Telehealth Service clinical team which allows her to continue to support her passion for quality emergency care and education for rural and remote patients whilst living in the metropolitan area.

Yvonne Zardins is an experienced healthcare professional having combined clinical, management and project roles across metropolitan and country health services in Western Australia. As a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Health Service Management, Yvonne has been well placed to manage both clinical service reform and development within her healthcare management roles. Most recently Yvonne has been responsible for the establishment and development of the WA Country Health Service Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS), a dedicated consultant-led emergency medicine service using video conferencing technology to deliver medicine to regional and remote Emergency Departments in WA.