REGIONALEATION OF TRAUMA SERVICES IN WESTERN SYDNEY

PREDICTED EFFECT ON AMBULANCE AND HOSPITAL UTILIZATION RATES

D. M. Lyle*, P. C. Thomson, S. A. Deane, L. A. Coulon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A previous study has demonstrated the effectiveness of ambulance staff in identifying the majority of trauma victims who warrant admission to a Level 3 Hospital.1 This paper applies the results of that study in order to estimate the likely effect of a system of bypass whereby these identified patients are transported to a Level 3 hospital rather than the nearest Level 1 DT 2 Hospital. Under the proposed plan whereby both Westmead and Liverpool Hospitals would be granted Level 3 status, the effect on Westmead would be negligible. However, Liverpool's caseload would increase (25% for total admissions, 136% for serious admissions) and, consequently, its level of resources would need to be upgraded before this plan can be put into action. Meanwhile, Level 1 and 2 hospitals would see little change to total patient admissions, although there would be a substantial drop in serious admissions (‐63%). Under the proposed system, the effects on the Ambulance Service would also be negligible in terms of both the number of transports and total transport hours. However, the nature of these transports would change. More time would be required in bypass cases, although this would be compensated for by a corresponding fall off in interhospital transfers (28% decline in time spent on transfers). Ultimately, this means that patients would be getting to the hospital of definitive care much sooner. These results have implications for the development of trauma services in other sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
Volume61
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emergency medical services
  • forecasting
  • transportation of patients
  • trauma centres
  • triago.

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