Gold Coast Health patients in need of rapid and compassionate mental health care are already benefitting from an initiative being trialled to help reduce emergency department demand.
Mr Geoffrey Norman, Assistant Director of Nursing for Community said the rapid response triage trial based at Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) designed to streamline the right care for each patient and reduce their length of stay, showed early signs of promise.
“When a patient arrives and is identified as benefitting from a fast response, an ED doctor and a mental health nurse from our Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Service (AODS) jointly decide the best care pathway,” Mr Norman said.
“The results are looking very positive both for patients who receive a targeted care plan and for the department, which benefits from earlier patient discharges and a reduction in the number of one-on-one nursing hours required with patients,” he said.
The preliminary results coincide with the release of the latest ED figures which confirm presentations to GCUH and Robina Hospital continue to exceed population growth.
Associate Professor David Green, Medical Director of Emergency at Gold Coast Health said presentations across both hospitals in January were six percent higher compared to the same month in 2018.
“Given these numbers, it’s quite a feat that we can report all Category 1 presentations in January 2019 were seen within the recommended times and that additionally, the median wait time across all five categories was only 28 minutes.”
“The collaborative research we’re doing within the ED will be key to helping us manage demand into the future and initiatives like the rapid response trial is a great example of how we’re thinking outside the box to do this.”
Gold Coast Health service continues to perform well with elective surgery, despite increasing demand.
Health service Chief Executive, Ron Calvert, said the targets for treating elective surgery patients continued to be met within the recommended timeframes across all categories.
“With respect to elective surgery, we’re actually in a slightly more favourable position compared to the same period last year which is a result we’re very proud of.”