Bathurst Health Service has once again proved to be ahead of the pack when it comes to providing quality and efficient health care to its community, with the local Emergency Department leading the charge.
Emergency Department (ED) staff are working hard as a team, developing and implementing strategies in improving their level of health care and to meet nationally recognised performance targets.
National health reforms introduced in 2012 resulted in the establishment of National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). Over a four year period, the aim of the target is to progressively increase the percentage of patients whose total time in an Emergency Department is within 4 hours. The 2012 NEAT target was set at 69%, increasing to 76% by the end of 2013.
Bathurst Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager, Lyn Sloane said she is immensely proud of her staff, who achieved the highest figures for the district in 2012 and performed well above the state average of 64%.
“In Bathurst last year 72% of patients who presented to our ED were treated within the 4 hour guidelines, which not only puts us above the NEAT target for the year but also shows we are making a real difference for our patients” said Ms. Sloane.
The work continues this year though, as continuing to achieve the NEAT annual targets in a sustainable way requires a “whole of hospital” approach, with staff working together as a team. The ED works closely with other departments throughout the hospital, as well as local GPs and Aged Care facilities to reduce the number of unnecessary ED presentations and enable acute areas to be made more available for urgent cases.
“This year we are working to identify even more strategies for improving the patient journey through the health system. One of the strategies already underway is reviewing Models of Care in the ED, with a focus on the patient experience” said Ms. Sloane.
Other ways of Bathurst Health Service has increased its NEAT performance are through the introduction of a Clinical Initiative Nurse to improve access to xrays and initiating care until patients are medically reviewed, improved signage throughout the facility and rostering staff to reflect peak activity times.
“Of course identifying and accessing training for staff is also a high priority here in Bathurst and our Emergency nurses recently achieved 100% compliance with Trauma Nursing Core Competences, improving management and outcomes for trauma presentations.
“Some of these initiatives may seem small but they all add up to a great performance by our team, which means better outcomes for our patients, so I’m really proud of this achievement” said Ms. Sloane.