Emergency department stay times get virtual boost

Thursday 1 July 2010, 6:14PM
By Ministry of Health

Faster emergency department treatment will be one of the hot topics in a new web-based portal launched today (

All DHBs are working to achieve a target of a maximum six hour stay in ED for 95 percent of patients - which is a particular challenge, especially for many larger DHBs.

The National Target Champion, Professor Mike Ardagh says there are a number of factors across the spectrum of health care that impact on length of stay in the ED.

In winter, when hospitals are full and services stretched, for any new patient to be admitted from ED there needs to be a bed available.

DHBs therefore have to ensure that the flow of patients into and through ED to the hospital, and the discharge of patients back home or to the community, is working as it should. The services available in the community are vital cogs in this process.

Professor Ardagh says some hospitals and services have done more to address these problems and it’s valuable to share good ideas and successful initiatives.

He says the new web based portal offers the opportunity for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to share ideas, meet over the web, and collectively develop innovative ways of working.

The portal, which has the snappy title of Health Improvement and Innovation Resource Centre (HIIRC), starts today and will grow over the next three years.

Deputy Director-General Sector Capability and Implementation Dr Ashley Bloomfield says the Centre aims to provide a core repository of information and tools to give a solid foundation for greater sector innovation.

Dr Bloomfield says the Ministry is aware that many health professionals are pressured by lack of time.

“Health professionals struggle to keep up to date in areas of rapidly growing knowledge as well as finding out what is going on in other hospitals and specialties.

“We expect these tools, and well ordered readily available information will give a solid foundation for helping spark those important conversations that ultimately lead to improved services.

“Fortunately we already have the enthusiasm, and the Centre is one way of helping connect the enthusiasm with knowledge and collectively directing it to where we can achieve our best efforts.


What does HIIRC stand for?
Health Improvement and Innovation Resource Centre

What is HIIRC?
A web based repository that will provide the tools, knowledge and latest information to support the health and disability sector.

What are the benenfits?
The HIIRC will help health professionals to ultimately improve service delivery, implement innovations and increase productivity particularly in the Government’s health priority areas.

Why was it developed?
The Ministry received sector feedback that a central repository was needed for the health and disability sector to share best practice, innovation, assist in transferring knowledge and assist in preventing duplication.