This research is a retrospective audit to identify the number and type of rural transfers from 18 rural hospitals to Toowoomba Hospital as the regional centre. It will aim to identify whether these referrals were appropriate by a retrospective chart review considering the medical management involved, the type of escort, hospital service required, and the timing and mode of transport. There is currently no clear indication of the magnitude of the potential problem with patient transfers and no validated method for obtaining this information. This research project will develop a method for using hospital data systems to quantify the number and nature of potential patient transfer problems. It will also provide a baseline measure of those potential problems.
This research will be phase one of a much broader body of work which will involve education & training of clinicians and nurses to improve appropriate transfers and the clinical quality and patient safety of those rural transfers that are required. This will have patient benefits in improving patient care during necessary transfers and also potentially keep patients closer to family where appropriate. Improving the quality of care in transfers and appropriateness of transfers will have economic benefits for the whole Hospital and Health Service as well as enhancing the knowledge of rural staff. These practices would then have the potential to be adopted nationally across all rural campuses.READ MORE
Patients from Dalby and Kingaroy Hospitals are transferred to Toowoomba Hospital, for CT Scanning and advanced Radiology, when CT and Advanced Radiology services are not available locally. Dalby and Kingaroy Hospitals only have these services during business hours, Monday to Friday, and advanced Radiology when the trained Radiologist is working. This means on weekends and after-hours, patients need to be transferred to Toowoomba for these services.
It is hypothesised that a percentage of transfers from rural hospitals for head and neck imaging following minor trauma do not meet ACEM guidelines. Our aim is to investigate the reasons for transfer for CT Head and Neck scanning or advanced radiology, to see if any identifiable patterns or concerns emerge around decision making which led to the transfer. The secondary aim is to evaluate adherence to evidence based clinical practice guidelines on diagnostic imaging by ACEM.
Results of this research will include identification of transfers that were not made according to current guidelines. These results would allow education opportunities to better facilitate evidence-based decision making in transferring head or neck trauma patients for diagnostic imaging when services are not available.READ MORE
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