Statewide Burn Injury Service (SBIS) Telehealth Project


To establish a Telehealth model of care for the Statewide Burn Injury Service.


There is significant potential for Telehealth to focus on patient centred care and improve the quality of care for:

  • Patients by providing services that will allow patients to receive their care and treatment closer to home that will save time and money for the patient
  • Burn Units by reducing the demand on tertiary burn units and save on bed days and ambulatory care clinic attendances
  • Rural/non-burn unit clinicians by increasing their experience and knowledge in the treatment of burn care and provide a support mechanism


The project will look at current and potential use of Telehealth (the use of videoconferencing and transfer of wound photographs) to support the care of patients with burn injuries.

Opportunities to improve and support care for patients along the complete patient journey from acute presentation, wound management to rehabilitation will be explored by consultation with:

  • patients
  • clinical staff at the designated burn units and non-burn unit facilities  
  • relevant telehealth personnel from Local Health Districts
  • established interstate Burn Telehealth Services
  • eHealth NSW to inform ICT solutions

The information gathered in the first stage of the project will be used to inform a structured template for effective and safe delivery of burn care using Telehealth as a supportive tool. 


  • The care requirements of a patient who has sustained a severe burn injury are considerable and complex.
  • The initial period of hospitalisation is lengthy and often followed by many months or years of follow-up care and rehabilitation.
  • The Statewide Burn Injury Service (SBIS) has three tertiary burn referral centres that are all metropolitan Sydney based; the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW), Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) and Concord Repatriation General Hospital (CRGH).
  • There are many other patients who have a less severe or a minor burn injury that may require a hospital stay and deemed appropriate for follow up care to be managed in an ambulatory care setting in their local community.
  • The number of burn injury patients presenting to the tertiary burn units continues to rise from 1792 in 2006 to 2790 in 2012.


  • The nature of burn injuries can be confronting and difficult for clinicians who do not deliver burn care as part of their ‘normal’ clinical practice to accurately assess, refer and treat.
  • Literature identifies that burns treatment via telehealth is feasible, safe and effective.
  • There are currently a variety of setups and services which vary across the three burn units, delivering care using Telehealth.
  • The use of digital photography for initial consultation, referral and ongoing support for treatment of minor burns and support for initial assessment is occurring at the three units to rural NSW. This is done differently at each of the three sites with varying degrees of process structure and governance for this.
  • Improving Telehealth services for burn injured patients across the state aligns with the ACI strategic objectives of better health outcomes for all, effective partnerships and innovation.



Key Dates

Analysis of current practices and gaps in the use of Telehealth in burn care.

April 2015

Pilot Sites

Implementation Sites


An evaluation will be completed during and after the implementation phase.

Related Initiatives

Further Details


Anne Darton
Manager Statewide Burn Injury Service Network
02 9463 2105

Donald MacLellan
Director, Surgery, Anaesthesia and Critical Care
02 9464 4604

Page Top | Added: 27 March 2015 | Last modified: 16 April 2015