Adult Retrieval Victoria

Ground-breaking technology transforming the treatment of critically ill patients across Victoria


Adult Retrieval Victoria (ARV) is a department of Ambulance Victoria responsible for coordinating doctors, paramedics, ambulances, planes, helicopters and equipment to transfer critically ill patients between hospitals. The department's 30 clinical coordinators and retrieval specialists handle approximately 4,200 cases a year, working with almost 150 hospitals across the state.

Key issues

  • ARV was in the process of transitioning from paper to online processes but was using an interim system that did not allow for real-time digital case management
  • It could take weeks or even months to understand bed capacity based on individual hospital surveys
  • Inefficiencies in the process meant increased hospital transfer times

“The system we were using provided no real-time functionality. Frontline workers did not have a clear overview of an open patient case and data was potentially out-of-date, as the system needed to be manually refreshed after new information was added” said Jason McClure, Director, Adult Retrieval Victoria. 



Ambulance Victoria first reached out to Telstra Purple back in 2014 because they needed a view of real-time bed and resource capacity to efficiently get patients to the right hospital to receive the right treatment—a matter of life or death for critical patients.

  • Adult Retrieval Victoria Information System (ARVIS) - In just six months, Telstra Purple delivered the ARVIS - a web-based dashboard offering a real-time interface, allowing users to see all active case information at a glance, integrating patient demographics, case logistics, communication technologies, risk mitigation and decision support tools.
  • Retrieval and Critical Health Information System (REACH) - The second solution REACH is used by ARV, health services and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to monitor bed occupancy in real-time through a web-based reporting tool. To make connecting a patient with a hospital a simple and effective process, REACH provides a state-wide and hospital-level view of critical care and incident specific bed capacity.

Telstra Purple worked closely with Ambulance Victoria throughout the entire design, development and testing process to ensure the system kept the user at heart, working with doctors, nurses, ambulance officers and others to build a real-time dashboard that worked for their needs. This covered everything from optimal colour coding to input and output screen usability, driven by the understanding that the system would mostly be used in stressful, time-pressured environment. 

As part of the solution, Telstra Purple developed the Hospital Incident Consequence Tool for use during large-scale emergencies such as an epidemic or natural disaster to monitor hospital statuses and the impact of an incident.

In just seven days in early April 2020, Telstra Purple working with Ambulance Victoria were able to scale out the REACH platform, evolving it to launch the new Critical Health Resource Information System (CHRIS).   


Now through CHRIS, health services, the Department of Health, and all related third parties in Australia and New Zealand have a national view of critical equipment for intensive care including personal protective equipment, and hospital bed and ventilator capacity.
Director of ARV, Jason McClure said the success of the software development project showed there was huge potential to improve retrieval and critical care coordination and clinical management. 

“Having a dedicated tracking system means we can strategically analyse and plan for the likely impacts of a disaster event, helping frontline workers efficiently distribute acute and critical patients to the right hospital",
"We are extremely satisfied with the responsiveness and the ability of Telstra Purple to rapidly update our Health Incident Consequence, which enables us to monitor bed and resource utilisation across the state", said Jason McClure, Director, ARV.