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Changes in the design of emergency departments are required to improve patient care and reduce waiting lists


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29 July 2011: Professional services firm Deloitte has been working with industry representatives to examine ways to change the design of hospital emergency departments to improve patient care and reduce waiting times.

Suggested design changes will be presented by Katerina Andronis, Director from Deloitte Life Sciences and Health Care and other industry representatives at the Health Informatics Conference 2011 staged by the Health Informatics Society of Australia in Brisbane on 1- 4 August, 2011.

Emergency departments are facing significant challenges such as uneven demand for services, complex and high pressure environments, resource constraints and the implementation of new information management systems. These challenges can impact the patient experience from the first point of contact in the emergency department (reception) through to admission or discharge.

“A person arrives at an emergency department, and depending on the complexity of the treatment required, may go through five or six processes for treatment being reception, triage, diagnosis and assessment, care planning and intervention and then admission or discharge. This process can take up to 24 hours,” said Alan Eckstein, Deloitte National Leader, Life Sciences and Health Care.

The suggested changes to emergency department design are intended to enable patients to proceed more rapidly to the ‘point of care’ area, reducing the time typically spent in the emergency department.

Katerina Andronis said, “The suggested changes include improved IT capabilities, re-defined service delivery models and changes to the internal structural layouts to support the point of care patient treatment.”
“The intention is to more rapidly move patients through the emergency department to where they may receive efficient and effective treatment. This also improves the overall patient experience,” she adds.

The key principles of the suggested emergency department design changes are:

  • Minimise the number of patient moves
  • Move patients to the treating team and place as soon as possible
  • Allow time critical interventions to be delivered immediately as, and when needed
  • Facilitate roll out of a standard set of tests and care bundles.

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Name:
Alan Eckstein
Company:
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
National Leader – Health Care Providers
Phone:
Tel: +61 3 9671 7118
Email
aleckstein@deloitte.com.au

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