Increasing capacity and assisting patient flow in hospital emergency departments
Delays in handover of patients at Emergency Departments is reported to have cost Ambulance trusts upward of 500,000 crew hours in the past year. That equates to over 710 whole time equivalent frontline staff. In the context of recruitment and performance pressures on Ambulance Trusts, this is unsustainable.
In March 2016 we partnered with two hospitals within the East of England to address pressures resulting form significant increases in demand. The emergency Departments in Colchester and Peterborough were struggling to manage the flow of presentations into the department effectively.
The resultant delays in handover at these two hospitals alone were costing the Ambulance Trust in excess of 1700 hours per month (the equivalent to 29 staff being off the road for the whole month).
MedicNow's teams of handover clinicians were able to have an immediate impact. The addition of dedicated clinical capacity focused on handover, rapid assessment and clerking of patients unlocked capacity within the nursing staff, and delivered significant performance improvements
Deploying a team of between 2 and 4 clinicians at times of peak demand, and streaming patients into dedicated Ambulance Assessment Areas within the department, Medicnow helped to drive down the incidence of handover delays, outstripping changes in performance at other hospitals in the region.
At these two hospitals alone over a thousand ambulance hours a month have been saved, significantly helping crews already under pressure.
How it works
We provide a fully managed service, led by experienced Paramedics and Emergency Care Practitioners and supported by EMTs. Our teams integrate seamlessly into the emergency department, providing a reliable interface between the ambulance crews.
A dedicated area within the department to stream patients into creates the space for the handover crew to begin the process of assessment and observation, enabling patients to be admitted on a priority basis. Where there is no space to accommodate this, MedicNow can provide purpose built temporary buildings to create the required capacity.
The addition of an Emergency Care Practitioner to administer care helps deal with any patients who do not require admission, delivering on the spot care and advice.
Deployments range in length from 3 months to ongoing, and can be expanded or reduced to meet changes in demand.
The business case
In the context of staff shortages and budget pressures, improved efficiency holds the key to improving performance.
Every hour of handover delays has a direct financial cost, and impacts the experience of the delayed patient, and those potentially waiting for an available ambulance response.
A saving of 500 hours per month at the hospital doors equates to over 8.5 Whole Time Equivalent frontline staff for the Ambulance Trust. Our solution lets Hospital and Ambulance Trusts flex capacity to meet peaks in demand, and reduces the impact on the substantive workforce.
Deployments can be jointly funded by hospital and ambulance trusts, or via specific allocations form the Clinical Commissioning Group.
Contact us to learn more
01494 578 999