A major milestone has been reached in the Marshall Liberal Government’s commitment to ease pressure on the state’s emergency departments, with a new service to strengthen the management of ambulance Triple Zero calls now live.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, said a new clinical telephone assessment service has commenced this week, allowing experienced paramedics to provide clinical assessments over the phone and recommend alternative care options for non-emergency patients.
“Clinical telephone assessment will help us deliver improved response times across the board and over time, a decrease in the number of people unnecessarily attending hospital Emergency Departments.
“This will provide more options for non-urgent patients and allow them to be more rapidly assessed” said Minister Wade.
“The types of cases that would qualify for clinical telephone assessment includes nose bleeds, urinary tract infections, minor animal bites and eye injuries.
The new service will offer South Australians more streamlined access to a wider range of care options including ambulance transport to hospital, treatment at a Priority Care Centre, home-based care from an Extended Care Paramedic or locum doctor service or referral to the patient’s GP.
If the assessment indicates that an ambulance is required, it will be arranged in the time-frame and priority recommended by the clinical assessment.
SA Ambulance Service, Chief Executive, David Place, said the introduction of clinical telephone assessment is a gateway to a 21st century solution to providing ambulance services.
“It gives us the capacity to get a deeper understanding of the patient’s needs and work with them to determine the best response.
“We’ve adopted a measured approach in the way we’ve set up the system so far. The case types are tightly defined to focus on the lowest acuity cases and rest assured, if a patient requires an urgent ambulance, they will get one.
“We’re also using a progressive implementation strategy, starting on day shifts to bed it down before going to a 24-hour service.
“I know patients will be in safe hands with the CTA team of Paramedic Telehealth Clinicians who are all experienced paramedics with an average of seven years on-road experience.”
The $1.6 million service launched earlier this week and follows successful introduction of similar service models in Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand.
For more information visit saambulance.com.au.