Media release #3
For immediate release on Wednesday 2 September 2009
IMPROVING PATIENT FLOW IN QUEENSLAND HOSPITALS
Auditor-General, Glen Poole issued a report in July of this year concerning the management of patient flow through Queensland hospitals.
The report was the result of a prediction from the Department of Health that the number of hospitalisations would double over the next 15 years due to population increases and the restraints of terminal illnesses.
Mr Poole remarked that the intention of the audit was to determine whether suitable systems currently operate across Queensland’s public hospitals.
The key findings of the report highlighted a number of inconsistencies between the six hospitals inspected.
Recommendations for Health to improve patient flow systems were included in the audit.
One of the principal irregularities related to patient flow through the hospitals.
An examination of admission and discharge policies and procedures across the hospitals revealed three dominant problems regarding patient flow.
As stated by Mr Poole in the audit, the systems implemented by the hospitals reviewed, did not strictly adhere to corporate guidance.
“Only three of the six hospitals visited had documented bed management policies and procedures. This may result in inconsistent bed management practices, especially where there is more than one bed manager”, Mr Poole said.
Discharge planning did not always commence at the point of patient admission, and Mr Poole said that this created barriers to timely patient discharge.
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