Director-General of the Health Directorate (that’s a lot of directing) Dr Peggy Brown has announced her plan to speed up the Emergency Department at Canberra Hospital:
“The Health Directorate is in the process of implementing a number of initiatives to make our ED the best it can possibly be,” said Dr Brown.
The ED is increasing its capacity as well as undertaking a redesign program to improve the quality of care. Four additional treatment cubicles are scheduled to open within one week with additional nursing staff employed to support this extra capacity. TCH is also increasing medical staff numbers, including within the emergency medical imaging service, to support timely decision making out of hours. To improve the journey for paediatric patients, we are undertaking recruitment action to provide a dedicated Clinical Nurse Consultant within the ED to help manage the pathways for children through the ED into inpatient care.
The redesign program will provide a new model of care that includes streaming and improved layout of equipment and storage.
The new streaming model within ED means that patients will be assessed as quickly as possible by a doctor and then directed to the most appropriate area in the ED for their treatment thereby enabling the timely provision of quality care by qualified medical, nursing and acute support services.
To better support patient flow out of the ED, TCH has also established a new Access Project, with a dedicated team to focus on 24/7 patient flow and resource management.
One key aspect of patient flow is discharge planning which is being improved in consultation with external providers, including Hospital in the Home (HITH), other hospitals and aged care facilities and services, both within the ACT and with regional providers.
We are also improving the layout, storage and replenishment of ED stock to increase timely delivery of care.
This will increase efficiency for clinical staff and reduce time away from care.
Planning is also underway to deliver a further six ED treatment beds, again with additional staffing to support the increased number of beds.
Work outside of the ED will also result in the opening of additional beds within Canberra Hospital that will significantly enhance patient flow. The first of these beds in Ward 7B is scheduled to open in the near future.
Funding for this increase has been provided through the 2012-13 budget process. The increases in capacity for
— Ward 7B General Medicine beds 6 beds (1st Quarter 2012-13)
— Ward 8B General Medicine beds 7 beds (3rd Quarter 2012-13)
— Medi-Hotel 8 beds (4th Quarter 2012-13)
— HITH 10 beds (1st Quarter 2012-13)
— Coronary Care Unit (Cardiac Assessment beds) 4 beds (3rd Quarter 2012-13)
— ICU (Increase Critical Care Capacity) 2 beds (2nd Quarter 2012-13)
— NICU 1 bed (1st Quarter 2012-13)