Building a Better Health Service

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Trauma Assessment Clinic

Trauma Assessment Clinic, Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore

The Trauma Assessment Clinic improves and streamlines the patient journey after an injury without compromising care.

How it works

The Trauma Assessment Clinic (TAC) is a new care pathway for patients. The patient arrives in the Emergency Dept. with an injury and is treated to a recognized protocol. They are given information and a splint or cast and followed up by phone call from the orthopaedic team. Within 24 hrs the patient’s x-rays/notes are assessed by the orthopaedic consultant. The patient is called and advised as to their planned treatment.

This approach helps to:

  1. Avoid all the disruption associated with hospital attendance.
  2. Free up Consultant and clinic staff time for more needy patients.
  3. Review patients' injuries by a consultant ledteam in a much faster way than before. This speeds up treatment delays.

The team

Run by Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon in the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore, the service uses a team approach. This involves a consultant, a registrar (junior doctor), a CNS Clinical nurse specialist and a physiotherapist to review each patient’s case. The patient is then contacted directly via telephone with the plan of action for their injury.

This empowers nursing specialists to execute a treatment plan and allows local staff to deal with their own patients rather than physically referring them to a tertiary center.

The nature of the project means that there are many departments involved including: Clinical, Nursing and Administration, Clinical Care Programme Orthopaedics, Emergency dept., outpatient service, General Practice, Physiotherapy Dept, Management and Clinical Directors.

Impact of this project

So far, the Trauma Assessment Clinic pilot project has seen 1,668 patients. 30% of patients are discharged at this stage, 40% are referred to an appropriate clinic or a follow up trauma clinic, 30% are referred onto physiotherapy services. Therefore 60% do not attend the fracture clinic. In the past 100% of these patients would have attended the hospital clinics. Patients who don’t need follow up are discharged and those that do are seen quicker and more efficiently, either in a clinic or a physiotherapy service.

This project uses technology and teamwork to improve the delivery of care for patients. It allows hospital staff to deal with patient injuries in a professional, efficient and speedy way. It values the patient’s time and it empowers them. It allows healthcare workers to apportion more time to deal with serious injuries and address other orthopaedic patients waiting to be seen. It up-skills paramedical staff and fosters a teamwork approach to managing patients.