OVERCAPACITY PROTOCOLS NEEDED
Early today the AMA commented; “the Tasmania branch of the Australian Medical Association continues to advocate for a strategic and wholistic response to the sustained and increasing bed pressure at the Royal Hobart Hospital that is producing unacceptable Emergency Department overcrowding, ambulance ramping and an inability for acute and elective patients to access beds at the Royal.”
AMA also recognises that while there are no quick solutions to the problem of serious ED and hospital overcrowding at RHH, there are steps that can be taken right now, and these include implementing carefully designed “Overcapacity Protocols” that ensure patients have access to the safest care location possible in the hospital.
AMA believes that “Overcapacity Protocols”, adequately designed and endorsed by local hospital leadership can play a crucial role in improving patient safety during periods of extreme hospital demand and ED overcrowding.
Further, AMA is aware that the RHH Executive is in the process of working appropriately with clinical staff at all levels to design an effective “Overcapacity Protocol” that will allow stranded patients to move from ED to the wards during times of extreme ED demand.
While triggering of an “Overcapacity Protocol” is an appropriate response to extreme ED overcrowding, ultimately the only permanent and strategic solution is adequate infrastructure, ward beds and staff for the RHH.
AMA Tasmania CEO – Tony Steven – 0409 219 368