Page 1547 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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(8) What is the relationship between “level 3 escalation” and “available beds” (as defined by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Surge capacity is a term used in reference to the management times of peak activity within the hospital. In operation it refers to the use of eight beds in the medical imaging department between the hours of 5pm and 7am Sunday to Thursday. It is important to note that beds are utilised during the day, Monday to Friday, for routine medical imaging procedures which is why they are available out of hours.

These eight beds are used to ease the pressure on access to the hospital. Patients identified as ready for discharge the next day are transferred to these beds and patients from the Emergency Department are transferred to the beds that are made available in the wards utilising this process. The patients in the surge beds are then discharged the next day. The eight beds in medical imaging are staffed by two registered nurses during the period of use for managing surge capacity while ever there are patients within the area.

(2) The activation of the beds is a decision that is made by senior nursing staff in the Emergency Department and Access Unit prior to 5pm on weekdays or by the After Hours Hospital Manager in consultation with the Executive on Call after hours. The decision to activate the surge beds is made on the basis of availability of beds in the wards and the level of activity in the emergency department.

(3) See answer to question 1.

(4) Surge capacity is over and above the defined available beds.

(5) Level 3 escalation is defined as:

a. More than 10 patients in the Emergency Department waiting for beds;

b. Emergency Department occupancy greater than 50 patients; and

c. Emergency Department resuscitation room full;

d. Insufficient beds immediately available in the hospital.

(6) See answer to question 2

(7) Level 3 escalation is declared when required and not at a particular time of day.

(8) See answer to question 4.

Canberra Hospital—bed occupancy
(Question No 380)

Mr Hanson asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 17 March 2015:

(1) In preparing quarterly and annual reports does the Health Directorate for Canberra Hospital use the definitions of “available beds” as set out in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) METeOR identifier 373634 and the definitions of “other known terms”; if not, what are the definitions used.

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