The Patient Retrieval Optimisation (PRO) project was set up in the Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway to investigate ways to improve the retrieval process. The main area for improvement was identified as communication between Western Isles Hospital (WIH), Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS), and Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS). For example, information such as receiving ward and transport method was being relayed to a variety of staff members in a variety of locations in the hospital. This could lead to confusion and potential delay in retrieving a critically ill patient. Two main interventions were introduced to address this: The Retrieval Coordinator (RC), and the WIH ‘run sheet’. The RC would be a nominated member of staff per shift who would act as a single point of access for EMRS and SAS to contact regarding logistical matters of retrieval. This role was taken on by a group of senior nurses known as Clinical Support Nurses (CSNs) who are in hospital 24/7, and well versed in the difficulties of transporting critically ill patients from the Outer Hebrides. The WIH run sheet was a document designed to reflect the information required by EMRS during a referral, and thereby increase understanding of information relevant to EMRS. A pilot study was commenced in February 2016 for two months. Formal feedback is currently being gathered, however initial impression is that the RC and run sheet improve clarity of communication around transfer. This could hopefully translate to reducing morbidity and mortality associated with delays in transport of critically ill patients.
This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.