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Paramedics and Emergency Department working together to improve patient flow

 A senior paramedic is now stationed at Frankston Emergency Department to liaise between Peninsula Health staff and paramedics as part of a pilot program run by Ambulance Victoria.

The Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officer (HALO) is currently in place on a 10-12 hour per day basis to help patients transfer from the ambulance stretcher as quickly as possible.

Frankston Hospital has the highest number of ambulance arrivals in the state, but through this joint initiative, off-stretcher times have improved from 85% in October to 98% for the month of February and continue to remain in the high 90% range.  

The Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officer works closely with bed managers and Nurse Unit Managers to identify and resolve issues.

“It’s all about flow – getting patients  handed over sooner so we can improve health outcomes,” said Frankston Hospital Emergency Nurse Unit Manager Trish O’Neill.

“This has helped us to improve patient care by reducing waiting times.”

“My role as the Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officer is to work in conjunction with the hospital to facilitate getting ambulance patients off stretcher quicker and also making sure that the ambulance paramedics are completing their paperwork in a timely manner so we can get them back out on the road as fast as we can,” explained Kane Grose, one of the first paramedics to rotate through the role. 

“That’s what we’re all here for – to help the patient.” 

The program has been running for around six months and as well as improving patient care, it is also improving the relationship between paramedics and hospital staff.

“I’ve been an on-road paramedic for most of my career and in that role you only see the front half of the hospital so it has been interesting to see what goes on and the pressures staff are under.”

“It’s also been good to get to know the Unit Managers and develop that working relationship,” said Kane.

“As a Peninsula local, a lot of the nurses who were on the floor when I was a junior paramedic are now working here in leadership roles.”

Jessica Mills
JMills@phcn.vic.gov.au
0419 868 824