EMERGECNY IN DE­MAND

Pre­sen­ta­tions at Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal in­crease

The Chronicle - - Front Page - SHERELE MOODY Sherele.Moody@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

STAFF in Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal’s Emer­gency De­part­ment are work­ing hard to meet an in­crease in de­mand.

Pre­sen­ta­tions at the Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal ED jumped 3.3 per cent in the 12 months to March 31, 2018 as 52,751 peo­ple passed through the doors, how­ever a greater per­cent­age are be­ing treated within rec­om­mended time frames.

“A higher per­cent­age of pa­tients were seen within clin­i­cally rec­om­mended time­frames than dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year,” Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Shirley-Anne Gar­diner said.

TOOWOOMBA pa­tients need­ing or­tho­pe­dic or ear, nose and throat elec­tive surg­eries are more likely to wait for their op­er­a­tions than those need­ing other elec­tive surg­eries.

Queens­land Health data for the 12 months to March 31, 2018, shows the city has one of the state’s best sur­gi­cal per­for­mances with al­most all pa­tients be­ing treated within clin­i­cally rec­om­mended time­frames.

The data shows 5195 elec­tive surg­eries were per­formed in the year.

The Dar­ling Downs Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice said 98.1 per cent of ENT and 99.8 per cent of or­tho­pe­dic pa­tients were treated on time.

In May 2018, Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal pro­vided a record­ed­break­ing 511 elec­tive and 384 emer­gency surg­eries.

The data also shows the hos­pi­tal ex­ceeds the State Gov­ern­ment’s health tar­get of 98 per cent for cat­e­gory one pa­tients – the most ur­gent – and 95 per cent for cat­e­gories two and three.

Pa­tients can ex­pect to wait 17 days if they need ur­gent op­er­a­tions while the wait time blows out to 49 days for cat­e­gory two pa­tients and 300 days for cat­e­gory three pa­tients.

Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Shirley-Anne Gar­diner said the city’s in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion was plac­ing ex­tra de­mand on the hos­pi­tal as was the need for more com­plex surg­eries and un­sched­uled pa­tients com­ing from the emer­gency de­part­ment.

Photo: Johnny Greig

‘‘ MEA­SURES HAVE BEEN DE­VEL­OPED TO AC­COM­MO­DATE GROW­ING DE­MAND, IN­CLUD­ING OP­ER­AT­ING ON WEEK­ENDS AND PUB­LIC HOL­I­DAYS AND OUT­SOURC­ING OP­TIONS.

SHIRLEY-ANNE GAR­DINER

“Mea­sures have been de­vel­oped to ac­com­mo­date grow­ing de­mand, in­clud­ing op­er­at­ing on week­ends and pub­lic hol­i­days and out­sourc­ing op­tions,” Ms Gar­diner said.

Toowoomba Hos­pi­tal is work­ing to re­duce elec­tive surgery wait­ing lists by con­stantly mon­i­tor­ing to en­sure op­ti­mum util­i­sa­tion of re­sources, in­clud­ing a weekly meet­ing to max­imise com­mu­ni­ca­tion and iden­tify is­sues or po­ten­tial so­lu­tions.

“Fo­cus­ing on start times,

turn­around times, re­duc­ing pa­tient fail­ures to at­tend ap­point­ments, re­duc­ing pa­tients can­celling on the day of ap­point­ments, pro­mot­ing day case surgery ac­tiv­ity.”

IN DE­MAND: Elec­tive surgery de­mand keeps lo­cal sur­geons busy.

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