27 December 2013
Message Heeded To Keep ED for Emergencies, Record Baby Numbers for Xmas Day
Waikato people seem to have heeded the message to check out their medical needs before Christmas if the presentations to hospital emergency departments and accident and medical centres the past three days are anything to go by.
Waikato District Health Board is hopeful the same applies in the lead up to New Year.
Presentations to Waikato Hospital’s emergency department on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week were down on last year particularly those who would usually be better seen by their own doctor.
Associate group manager Jo-Anne Deane, the on call hospital manager during the period, said the work Waikato District Health Board and primary care providers such as Midlands Health Network, Hauraki and the National Hauora Coalition had done to educate patients was paying dividends.
“It means the people we are seeing in our emergency departments should genuinely be there,” said Ms Deane.
“We’ve seen some very sick people over this festive time and it is important that our medical staff can spend time with them and that places like Anglesea Clinic can see the appropriate ones for treatment there.
“What it also means is that people got into see their doctor before Christmas for things like prescription renewals and check-ups.”
There were 180 presentations to the emergency department yesterday (Boxing Day); staff redirected 18 people or 10 per cent to Anglesea Clinic.
“Two years ago we analysed the figures and about 20 per cent of the people should not have been in our emergency department. At that time we were unable to redirect them to Anglesea.
“But we’ve worked closely with Midlands Health Network and Anglesea to get a system in place so people can see a doctor but not in a busy emergency department. We know a lot of GPs take time off over Christmas and New Year – that is fine but the primary health organisations still have to offer an alternative. To their credit, they are,” said Ms Deane.
Meanwhile Waikato DHB planning for New Year is in place usingCap Plan a tried and tested planning tool.
It predicts emergency department numbers and conversions to inpatients during the next week. The busiest days, going on previous years, are expected to be Monday 30 December andThursday 2 January.
About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:
Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 373,220 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6450 people.
Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.
A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.