Epworth’s GP Liaison Unit, together with the directors of Epworth Richmond Emergency Department, recently carried out a survey among general practitioners in metro Melbourne and regional Victoria regarding Epworth Richmond’s Emergency Department. Our objective was to gain valuable feedback from general practitioners to ensure the highest quality care for our patients as well as identifying opportunities for improvement so we can make your patients’ experience at Epworth Richmond Emergency Department better.
Epworth Richmond Emergency Department is located at Erin Street, Richmond, behind the Epworth Richmond hospital. It is the largest private hospital emergency department in Victoria, offering 24 hour emergency services with capacity to treat high acuity conditions, including heart attacks, strokes and trauma. Treating over 25,000 patients annually, it is staffed by a team of experienced doctors and nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The results from the survey were very positive as a whole. We would like to share with you some of the key items learned from analysing the results.
What we’ve done well
• Epworth Richmond is the preferred emergency department for your private hospital patients
• Location is the top influencing factor for your decision to refer to Epworth Richmond ED, followed by patient preference and past service experience
• 75% of survey respondents have previously referred to Epworth Richmond ED. Frequently mentioned comments received were in relation to excellent service, a high level of patient care and short waiting times
• Past referrals to the emergency department have come from many geographical areas such as Hoppers Crossing, Beaconsfield, Hurstbridge, inner north and inner eastern suburbs, inner Melbourne and from as far afield as Bendigo
• For those of you who have referred to the ED, we asked for your feedback as the referring GP. Most of you were happy with the short wait, prompt service and availability of ED physicians. You were happy with both diagnosis and treatment with good standards of care. You also mentioned the good communication received from the ED and highlighted the importance of sending GPs a discharge letter
• Of those of you who have referred to the ED in the past, 90% said you would refer to the ED again with mentions of an excellent facility and services
What you would like to see
• We asked you about future services you would like to see offered at the ED. We received comments mainly about fracture services, out of hours imaging, psychiatric services, paediatric services and trauma centre. These comments have helped us understand where we need to improve communication with regard to services we already provide at the ED, eg 24/7 radiology, fracture services
• Some of you mentioned in some cases it would help you more if the ED can give you advice over the phone about whether to refer your patients in to the ED
• There were a few requests for better communication with patients and their families
• ED tours for GPs was suggested so you can become more familiar with the facility and its services – this is being organised for 2016 when our new and expanded emergency department will open
• A number of you mentioned the upfront out-of-pocket fee of $280 that patients pay – this is currently the lowest out-of-pocket fee that a private hospital charges its patients for an ED visit in metropolitan Melbourne, a reflection of Epworth HealthCare’s commitment to provide affordable private emergency care
• A few of you mentioned not receiving discharge summaries from the ED. This is something we continuously strive to do, please contact our emergency department should you not receive a discharge summary, we would be pleased to follow up and also arrange information to be transferred to your practice
• There was a suggestion of education / practical sessions for GPs – our GP Liaison Unit holds accredited educational events throughout the year at our Clinical Education and Simulation Centre. Category 2 events include CPR for GPs. Category 1 events often include suturing and plastering workshops, joint injections and joint assessment practicals
The services we already do provide
• Resuscitation room
• Critical monitored cubicles
• Stable care area
• Critical injury area
• 24/7 radiology — CT, MRI, ultrasound, x-ray
• Cardiac catheter lab for 24/7 angiography and coronary stenting
• An extensive on-call roster covering a wide range of specialties
Find out more about Epworth Richmond’s Emergency Department.
The new emergency department at Epworth Richmond
The current redevelopment at Epworth Richmond will provide a new and significantly larger space for the emergency department in February 2016 when it will expand to 35 treatment spaces, including two new resuscitation bays, and improve access for ambulance and MICA vehicles.
Thank you for your participation
“Thank you to all the General Practitioners who participated in our Epworth Richmond Emergency Department survey. We were pleased to hear from you that our service has, in most instances, provided your patients with the excellent emergency care expected of a private emergency department.
It was also great to read feedback on how we can improve and expand our services. This information provides focus for our team in 2016 when we look forward to sharing these improvement initiatives with you.” – Dr Ron Sultana, Director, Epworth Richmond Emergency Department.