July 19, 2023

Timely Emergency Care Collaborative (TECC)

Northern Health is proud to be a part of the Timely Emergency Care Collaborative (TECC), a statewide initiative involving 15 health services and Ambulance Victoria. Officially launched last month, the primary focus of TECC is to identify systemic opportunities to improve access to emergency care and address them.

Lora Davies, Divisional Director of Access and Sub-Acute Services, said, “We’re improving the way we process our patients, from when they come in the front door to when they leave, to ensure that everything is streamlined and to support a safe and calm environment for both patients and staff.”

Some improvements to the process are already bearing fruit, like weekend huddles for the Plastics and Orthopaedics teams allowing for potential early patient discharges, streamlining radiology visits post-surgery, and discharge scripts post ward rounds.

The addition of a virtual triage next to the emergency waiting room has been an outstanding success.  Since the launch, the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) team has successfully served over 300 patients. Remarkably, out of these patients, an impressive 270 individuals were able to return home following their virtual consultation, thanks to the efficient and accurate assessment provided by the program. This streamlined process eliminates the need for patients to endure lengthy waiting times and enables them to receive timely care without compromising quality.

The ultimate goal of TECC is to optimise patient placement and ensure every patient receives the right care in the right place, the first time. Optimising patient flow through the hospital is key to ensuring patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) are cared for in a timely manner.  Sometimes referring patients to Priority Primary Care Centres (PPCC) outside of the hospital is a far more efficient use of resources, once patients are expertly assessed and given alternatives for their care, based on specific criteria.

The initiative is truly collaborative, combining three streams within the hospital operational, inpatient and emergency department.

“This ensures the best flow through the hospital that we can, which means less wait times in ED, by ensuring the right patients are presenting to emergency, and that we prioritise timely discharges to facilitate beds for patients moving from ED to the wards,” said James Ash, Senior Pharmacist.

The more staff are actively involved and collaborate in this initiative, the better able we’ll be to improve our hospital’s emergency care services. Together, we can make a significant difference in delivering timely and quality care to our patients.

We encourage you to take this opportunity to share your insights, suggestions, and experiences, as they will play a crucial role in shaping the success of TECC. A link to the ideas scale is found here.

Featured image: Staff promoting TECC at the launch.