IAEM welcomes Emergency Department Taskforce Report but warns recommendations must be implemented
The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine welcomes the publication of the Emergency Department Taskforce Report on 3rd April 2015. For many years IAEM has raised concerns about the well-established patient safety risks of Emergency Department (ED) crowding. We therefore support this initiative to improve the situation for patients and for ED medical and nursing staff.
If implemented, the actions recommended in the Taskforce report have the potential to finally and definitively address the underlying causes of crowding and consign the current unacceptable situation to history.
Concerns remain: some targets are unambitious, for example with the delayed discharge target of 500 in the system; EDs will remain crowded because of ongoing inability to access acute hospital beds. Specific pathways for frail elderly patients are welcome but creating other ‘doors’ into the hospital without addressing bed and diagnostics capacity risks failure.
The Taskforce report is welcome. The actions needed are described; it is time to implement them. Patients, the victims of ED crowding, urgently require action rather than simply the optics of having a document.