Emergency department short-stay target a success story
Emergency department short-stay target – hospital specialist led success story
“The six hour target to reduce waiting times in our public hospital emergency departments has achieved significant improvements since its introduction four years ago,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.
Mr Powell was referring to the feature article by Dr John Bonning, Chair of the New Zealand Faculty of the Australasian College of Medicine and Clinical Director of Waikato Hospital’s Emergency Department, in the recent issue of the Association’s quarterly publication The Specialist.
“Before the target was introduced, more than 20% of emergency department patients waited more than six hours before they were attended to. Today, on average, almost 95% of these patients nationwide are admitted to hospital, discharged or transferred within six hours. What is also significant is that this did not simply involve changes in emergency departments. To succeed it required hospital-wide change in order to prevent bed-blocking in the main hospital.”
“A key to that success is that the New Zealand Faculty of the Australasian College of Medicine (ACEM) was heavily involved in the planning and introduction of the target, as were many hospital specialists practising at the front line of acute care.”
“This demonstrates the benefits of having hospital specialist leadership in public hospitals. If we had more of it then we would have even greater improvements in the quality of patient care,” concluded Mr Powell.
An overview of the development and progress of the ‘shorter stays in ED’ target, by Dr John Bonning, Chair of the ACEM NZ Faculty, Clinical Director at Waikato Hospital and a former ASMS National Executive member, is included in the latest issue of The Specialist, available at www.asms.org.nz