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New Institute plans to improve Emergency Department Care

08 January, 2009

NSW Minister for Health, John Della Bosca, has announced an Emergency Care Institute will be developed to support frontline staff and provide improvements to emergency department care in NSW public hospitals.

Della Bosca said the $700,000 Institute, a national first, was a key recommendation of the Ministerial Taskforce on Emergency Care – a group of experienced doctors and nurses who provide advice to the Government on emergency care.

“Patient care and safety are our top priority and encouraging the sharing of best practice across all emergency departments will improve our health services,” the Minister said.

“The Garling Report, which looked at acute health services across the State, advises that we need to have a greater focus on communication and teamwork in our public hospitals.

“The Institute will assist with the sharing of information not only within hospitals but right across every emergency department in the State.

“Last financial year, 2.4 million people attended emergency departments across NSW.

“This means that every day, on average, about 6,000 people attend an emergency department. This figure has grown by 5 per cent on the previous year, a rate which is higher than the current growth of NSW’s population,” Della Bosca said.

“This increased demand presents a challenge to our emergency departments and we
need to be looking at new ways to support our frontline staff.

Important roles to be carried out by the Institute include:

- The development of standardised guidelines for emergency care to improve how emergency department staff work,
- The review of patient access to services, and
- The review of quality and safety standards across the State.

“The primary aim of the Institute will be to establish best medical practice procedures across all emergency departments to enable frontline staff to access the most up to date clinical information.

“Within the first year of the Institute opening, emergency departments will be encouraged to share information and this exchange will lead to the creation and implementation of state-wide best clinical practice procedures.

“The Institute will also provide a central website to link and streamline information for emergency clinical staff and the public,” the Minister added.

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