Scaling of projects from inception to establishment within the healthcare system is rarely formally reported. The Victorian Stroke Telemedicine (VST) programme provided a very useful opportunity to describe how rural hospitals in Victoria were able to access a network of Melbourne-based neurologists via telemedicine. The VST programme was initially piloted at one site in 2010 and has gradually expanded as a state-wide regional service operating with 16 hospitals in 2017. The aim of this paper is to summarise the factors that facilitated the state-wide transition of the VST programme. A naturalistic case-study was used and data were obtained from programme documents, e.g. minutes of governance committees, including the steering committee, the management committee and six working groups; operational and evaluation documentation, interviews and research field-notes taken by project staff. Thematic analysis was undertaken, with results presented in narrative form to provide a summary of the lived experience of developing and scaling the VST programme. The main success factors were attaining funding from various sources, identifying a clinical need and evidence-based solution, engaging stakeholders and facilitating co-design, including embedding the programme within policy, iterative evaluation including performing financial sustainability modelling, and conducting dissemination activities of the interim results, including promotion of early successes.
Keywords: Telemedicine; remote consultation; scaling.