Emergency department surge capacity : Recommendations of the Australasian surge strategy working group

Bradt, David, Aitken, Peter, FitzGerald, Gerard, Swift, Roger, O'Reilly, Gerard, & Bartley, Bruce (2009) Emergency department surge capacity : Recommendations of the Australasian surge strategy working group. Academic Emergency Medicine, 16(12), pp. 1350-1358.

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Background For more than a decade emergency medicine organizations have produced guidelines, training and leadership for disaster management. However to date, there have been limited guidelines for emergency physicians needing to provide a rapid response to a surge in demand. The aim of this study is to identify strategies which may guide surge management in the Emergency Department.

Method A working group of individuals experienced in disaster medicine from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Disaster Medicine Subcommittee (the Australasian Surge Strategy Working Group) was established to undertake this work. The Working Group used a modified Delphi technique to examine response actions in surge situations. The Working Group identified underlying assumptions from epidemiological and empirical understanding and then identified remedial strategies from literature and from personal experience and collated these within domains of space, staff, supplies, and system operation.

Findings These recommendations detail 22 potential actions available to an emergency physician working in the context of surge. The Working Group also provides detailed guidance on surge recognition, triage, patient flow through the emergency department and clinical goals and practices.

Discussion These strategies provide guidance to emergency physicians confronting the challenges of a surge in demand. The paper also identifies areas that merit future research including the measurement of surge capacity, constraints to strategy implementation, validation of surge strategies and measurement of strategy impacts on throughput, cost, and quality of care.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 30104
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Emergency Medicine, Disaster Management, Surge Capacity
DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00501.x
ISSN: 1069-6563
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Care Administration (111709)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Emergency Medicine (110305)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: 2009 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Deposited On: 11 Feb 2010 23:47
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:43

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