This tool can be used as a guide to develop an approach to offering virtual care services whether as a new service or to assess an existing service.
There are two categories. Assessing the program and operational framework. All Victorian Health Services may not meet each of the elements outlined in the checklist. However, it should not act as a barrier to implementing virtual care.
Assessing the Virtual Care service
Operational Framework elements
Ensure organisation has a fully integrated corporate governance model in place that includes clinical, risk, financial and other governance
Ensure strong clinical governance model aligned with National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.
Ensure all virtual care service provision has been endorsed by health service through Health Service approval mechanisms.
Use ICT platforms that conform with accredited standards, guidelines, and frameworks.
Non-authorised participants should not have access to the virtual care appointment or participate on the consultation.
The Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Hosting Certification Framework governs public sector data and requires all data to be stored onshore.
Optimise patient care through use of digital technology that integrates into and complements clinical workflows.
Incorporate effective implementation methodologies and change/release communication, training for digital health applications and oversight of technology decisions via appropriate governance mechanisms.
Partnering with consumers
Consumers of program
Virtual care service delivery should incorporate the development of an engagement plan to ensure consumer voice is recognised and health services are demonstrating responsiveness to the needs of the patients and the communities they serve.
Complementary tool or value-add
Consider alternatives to providing services exclusively through virtual care if the patient preference is for face-to-face consultations or if provision of services virtually is not the most appropriate method for health care delivery. Consumers should be involved in discussions about the appropriate modality of care and their right to choose must be respected.
Ensure patient feedback is sought in an inclusive and culturally appropriate way and considered in future development. Consider systems for collecting and monitoring patient-reported experiences, outcomes and are considered to be used in the design of services that incorporate virtual care.
Privacy and confidentiality
Virtual care service delivery must adhere to privacy, data sovereignty and confidentiality obligations.
Digitally capable workforce
Development of virtual care guidelines regarding service providers expected skills, behaviour and guidelines
Provision of resources (including access to education, training and/or mentorship) to enable skill development
Access and equity
Equity and access
Ensure that local health service policies and infrastructure promote equitable access to virtual care services. Consideration of cultural, socio-economic, digital literacy and technological inequities should be incorporated in strategies and service delivery plans.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
Create an environment that is safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, based on shared respect, meaning and knowledge. Ensure design, delivery and evaluation of virtual care models support self-determination for Aboriginal people.
Service delivery and scope
Consideration of service delivery mechanism of virtual care e.g. whether standalone session or integrated into an existing clinic. Identification of which patients are in and out of scope for virtual care.
Clinical and data workflows
Prior to implementation of virtual care service delivery, clinical and data workflows are mapped, and any differential requirements addressed to ensure that optimal service delivery is achieved.
Reporting and funding
All virtual activity needs to be reported accurately to the Department of Health to ensure it is counted. Funding for virtual activity is either on an activity (NWAU) basis or through specific funding arrangements. Information regarding the requirements can be found in the .
Evaluation and continuous improvement
Initiation and scaling of new models
New virtual care models are scaled with a plan to evaluate the benefits and harms, including (if applicable) the collection of data and qualitative insight from consumers and staff, taking into consideration the importance of data sovereignty.
Regular performance review
The health service commits to submit timely and accurate data to the Department as per existing and new state-wide performance monitoring.
The performance of virtual models of care delivered through partnered health services are reviewed collectively between those participating in delivery.
Timely review of adverse events
In the event of an adverse event (including mortality, morbidity, delayed care and access barriers), cases are referred dedicated committee for clinical review and action.
Virtual care models adhere to quality and safety standards recognised by the Department of Health Victoria.
Reviewed 09 August 2023