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New Era For Wellington's Ed: Triage Assessment And Minor Care Zone Goes Live Monday

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Era For Wellington's Ed: Triage Assessment And Minor Care Zone Goes Live Monday

The new Triage Assessment and Minor Care Zone in Wellington Hospital's ED will be operational from Monday (April 18) and is part of Capital & Coast's commitment to improving the patient journey for the community it serves.

The triage assessment areas were developed to ensure that all patients are assessed by a triage nurse in a private area. This will enable more in-depth initial assessments to be made to determine the degree of urgency required to treat patients as opposed to the "over the counter" process used until now.

"The Minor Care Zone has been developed with specific patient groups in mind and will enable staff to triage, assess, treat, educate and discharge these patients in a more timely manner," said Clinical Director Andre Cromhout. "We are focussed on a good quick turnaround in a predominately nurse-led area and having the extra 3 beds created in this new area will help us achieve this while enhancing the safety of all patients in the ED.

"We fully expect this new design will assist to manage patient flow much more efficiently and thereby not just improve our triage compliance, but more importantly, support the patient's journey," said Dr Cromhout.

Nurses to take the lead

Part of the vision for the new area is to work towards becoming a nurse-led practice. During the past 18 months Wellington ED has been developing an extended skills program for ED nurses who will be working in the Minor Care Zone; who with the supervision and support of ED doctors can improve the patient journey by requesting radiological investigation and assisting with numerous procedures, not routinely undertaken by nursing staff previously.

Associate Charge Nurse Managers Ben Storey and Craig Jenkin will soon embark on further training to become Nurses Practitioners; hoping to continue the trend across the country to bring NP expertise into the ED environment.

"The new model of care for the Minor Care Zone will still be a team approach, however, the advancing skills of many of the nursing staff allows for increased autonomy; immediate initiation of treatment and investigation plans, followed by a consult with a senior medical clinician," said Ben. "This will not only expedite the patient journey and go towards meeting Ministry targets but also provide a safe and more efficient process offering improved patient satisfaction, better referral and continued staff education. "With around 12% of all people using Wellington Hospital's ED having minor injuries, this means that we will be better able to serve our community quicker and more effectively. For our patients it is about improving safety and for us it also brings about a new era in emergency medicine and we all look forward to working in it," said Ben.

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