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Safer and faster emergency healthcare

Queensland’s health system is responding with new and innovative ways that are seeing patients admitted to emergency departments sooner and safer, while getting ambulances back in the community faster.

Queensland emergency departments are seeing more people, and more of the people we’re seeing are presenting with more serious illness or injury. Across the state, we are seeing more ED attendances than ever before, up 4% between January and November 2018 compared to the same time in 2017. Last November alone, we saw a 21% increase in the most serious – category one – patients and an 11% increase in category two patients than the same time in 2017. Despite the huge increase in critical cases coming to emergency departments, overall performance remains stable and strong, and we continue to provide some of the highest quality and safest healthcare in the world.

Our entire system is set up so people get the clinical care they need as fast as possible.

Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and our Hospital and Health Services (HHS) have instituted a process – the Rapid Transfer of Care process – as just one tool to help deal with the huge growth in demand. The process sees QAS front line staff working closely with ED staff at a number of hospitals during times of surge to ensure the safe and timely handover of patients from ambulance stretcher to emergency department. Patients who go through this process have already been triaged and assessed and are in the care of the emergency department. No patient handovers occur under this process without clinical agreement between paramedics and ED clinicians.

The process is helping ensure patients receive the care they need sooner, while allowing our ambulances to get back on the road as quickly as possible. Since this process was put in place it has allowed more than 2000 Brisbane ED patients to be seen sooner. It has proven an effective tool so far but it's only one we use, given 2000 patients represents less than 1% of all emergency department presentations.


Media contact:           3708 5376

Last updated: 10 January 2019