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Case Study

How Nelson Hospital reduced avoidable ED presentations

10 Minute Read

Overview

The challenge

Demographic factors beyond the control of the hospital left the emergency department at Nelson Hospital with increased demand and challenging patient groups. In addition, without care pathways to guide care decisions away from the emergency department, general practitioners were referring patients to the emergency department for care, even when other options would be more appropriate. Both of these factors contribute to strain on the emergency department.

The organization

Nelson Hospital is a 157 bed hospital in Nelson, New Zealand. This regional, rural hospital provides secondary services to a population over 22,000 square kilometers.

The approach

Routing patients to other sites of care in the system and fully supporting complex patients through a comprehensive discharge strategy to use hospital resources more effectively.

Result

Despite a significant population increase over a five year period, Nelson Hospital experienced virtually no increase in emergency department demand.

 

Approach

The three initiatives

How leaders at Nelson Hospital created a network of coordinated care to reduce emergency department presentations with three key initiatives:

  • Initiative

    Educate patients on available care sites

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  • Initiative

    Provide structure and support to change GP referral patterns

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  • Initiative

    Broaden scope of care in the ED for critical non-medical concerns

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Results

Coordinated care delivery reduces ED presentations

Nelson Hospital saw impressive results through this coordinated effort to curb emergency department demand. Despite a significant population increase over a five year period, they experienced virtually no increase in emergency department demand.

By routing patients to other sites of care in the system and fully supporting those complex patients through a comprehensive discharge strategy, resources across the system are most effectively and efficiently used.

9%

Growth in population served by ED over the last 5 year

0.4%

Growth in ED presentations over the last 5 years

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