Oct

13

2021

Coordinating care between GPs and emergency departments is key to patient experience

Emergency departments can involve long wait times during busy periods. Coffs Harbour Base Hospital is seeking support of local GPs to help manage patient expectations.

Dr Alan Tankel, Director of Emergency Medicine at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, is seeking the support of local GPs to help manage patient expectations when sending them through for assessment by the Emergency Department (ED).

‘We’re all working together for the best interests of the patient, and part of that is helping the patient to understand what to expect when they arrive at ED,’ said Dr Tankel.

‘Occasionally patients come to ED having been referred by their GP with the expectation that they will be seen immediately on arrival and that there are inpatient beds immediately available for them.

‘Obviously, this is not always possible in a busy emergency department. Some patients and their carers, who are already worried and stressed, can become quite upset and blame ED staff for not meeting their expectations.

‘Of course, our staff know managing these expectations is part of the job and we do this daily. It also helps greatly when general practice staff advise their patients about what to expect when presenting to the ED.’

Dr Tankel said he is grateful this is already happening in many GP clinics but would like to remind all clinics to help manage their patients’ ED expectations. Patients should know before arrival that they will be first triaged by ED staff and then may have to wait before they are formally reviewed.

‘Not all patients will require admission either, so outlining the possibility that a bed may not immediately be available helps as well,’ Dr Tankel said.

‘If a GP has a patient requiring immediate treatment, we urge them to phone ahead as early as possible. This coordination between GP and ED gives us time to make necessary arrangements to ensure the best possible patient experience of care.

‘We strongly value the partnership between general practitioners and emergency clinicians. We look forward to continuing to work together to improve patient experience and health outcomes.’

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.