Research to investigate pathways to hospital emergency departments

Research to investigate pathways to hospital emergency departments

A fact finding mission by researchers at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research this week will help to determine why, when and how Tasmanians decide to attend a hospital emergency department.

The Menzies researchers are working in collaboration with the Tasmanian Health Service and the Department of Health and Human Services, who are also providing funding towards the survey.

All patients, or carers of patients, who attend the emergency department at the Royal Hobart Hospital, the Launceston General Hospital, the Mersey Community Hospital or the North West Regional Hospital from 1st August to 7th August, 2017, are being asked to complete a brief survey on what influenced their decision to go to the Emergency Department.

Menzies health economist Dr Amanda Neil, who is leading the survey (the Tasmanian ED presentation stuDY - TEDDY), said factors influencing the decision could be the nature of the health issue, the cost of care, the convenience of the hospital’s location, an inability to get to see a GP, the time of day, the tests needed and advice received.

“If you visit an emergency department this week please fill in the survey because this will provide information that will help to improve the system for everyone,” Dr Neil said.

“If we can get an accurate picture of the factors influencing people’s decision to go to emergency departments we can tailor communication and health services to make sure patients are going to the right service, to obtain the right care, in the right place at the right time. Improving the delivery of urgent and emergency care in a timely fashion is our driving goal with this survey.

“Our survey will also ask about your sources of information and advice before you came to emergency – for example, did you look at the internet, go to a pharmacy, a helpline, a GP or a friend or family member?”

People presenting at emergency departments will be given a card with an internet address where they can fill in the survey: www.menzies.utas.edu.au/teddy.

The research team comprises: Dr Amanda Neil (Menzies); Dr George Cerchez and Mr Ian Bell (DHHS); and Dr David Alcorn, Dr Emma Huckerby, Dr Marielle Ruigrok, Dr Lucy Reed and Mr Mark Upton (THS).

Contact: Miranda Harman

Phone: 0427 199 562