Emergency Medicine Education – a virtual program using VC technology and flexible, blended learning techniques for rural and remote clinicians in WA Country Health Service.

Mrs Yvonne Zardins1, Doctor Stephanie Schlueter1

1WA Country Health Service, Perth, Australia


The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) commenced the Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS) in 2012 aiming to improve emergency medical care delivered to patients who present to remote hospitals.  ETS Physicians provide direct patient consults and Emergency Medicine Specialist advice to doctors working in remote and rural hospitals.

Apart from restricted access to specialist services, health practitioners working in rural locations have limited opportunities to access formal education sessions and interactive simulation scenarios.  Following on from the telemedicine component of the ETS, a dedicated education program has evolved.  Using the dedicated video conferencing infrastructure of the ETS, a flexible blended learning program is delivered using educational lectures, workshops and simulation interactive sessions for doctors and nurses working in rural and remote sites.  Delivering the education directly to the sites improves access and also offers the benefit of education and practice in a familiar environment.

Combined with contributions from the ‘Emergency Medicine Education Program (EMET)’ funded by the Commonwealth through the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM),  Emergency Medicine Consultants in collaboration with the ETS Nurse Educator have developed and delivered a successful program across WACHS, the largest area health service in Australia covering 2.5 million square kilometres.

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the capacity of a dedicated ‘virtual’ education program using VC technology to deliver a successful multi-disciplinary emergency medicine training program.




Dr Stephanie Schlueter, an Emergency Physician working in WA, is a Co-Director Emergency Medicine Training, the Emergency Medicine Clinical Lead- WACHS Kimberley and a clinician for Emergency Telehealth Service.  She is involved in education and clinical governance across WACHS.  Born in Germany, Dr Schlueter’s love for Australia began as an exchange student and when doing a medical elective at Fremantle Hospital.  Stephanie completed her Emergency Medicine training at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  With a passion for medical education, Stephanie is a course instructor for a variety of emergency medicine courses including the Western Trauma and WATEC Trauma Team Simulation Course.