Up, up and away! Big benefit for emergency patients in Westmead and Blacktown hospitals with rapid program re-launch

Westmead Allied Health RAID ED program launch.

The Allied Health Rapid Assessment, Intervention and Discharge – Emergency Department (RAID-ED) program prevents hospital admissions and helps get patients home sooner. 

The RAID-ED service sees allied health staff teaming up with Westmead and Blacktown hospital’s emergency departments and it’s here to stay following its successful pilot project in 2020.

The service is available seven days a week and relieves some of the pressures off the medical and nursing staff working in emergency who need to treat acute patients.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) allied health workforce manager, Chrissan Segaram, said it was exciting to have permanently embedded this model of care and is “a big win across Westmead and Blacktown hospital’s emergency departments for allied health”.

“The biggest benefit to the patient is having the ability to provide holistic care as soon as a patient presents to our emergency department,” said Chrissan.

“We can assist with patients who present with chronic complex conditions and require a multidisciplinary approach to their management and care.”

The program is designed to improve the patient experience as patients will receive treatment that is more timely as medical staff will be able to make quick decisions about the need to admit and discharge patients from the emergency department.

WSLHD director of allied health, Jacqueline Dominish, explains that this has been reflected in positive patient comments received such as, “the RAID team have restored my faith in our health system and our whole family is very grateful to the team”.

“Additionally, in a recent staff survey conducted, 80% of medical and nursing ED staff expressed that the RAID-ED team have had a positive impact on their work,” she said.

Since October 2020 the RAID-ED team have seen over 6,500 patients and have:

  • Discharged nearly 60% of patients they have seen directly from ED
  • Provided follow-up care for 30% of patients discharged
  • Reduced the overall average length of stay for triage categories 2 to 5 by 34 minutes and 70 minutes at Westmead and Blacktown ED respectively
  • Reduced the number of patients waiting greater than 24 hours at Westmead and Blacktown ED
  • Improved patient reported experiences (PREMS) with RAID-ED at Westmead scoring 100% and Blacktown 90%
  • 86% of patients have felt they have been treated with kindness and respect.

WSLHD’s critical care network director, Dr Tom Solano, said the program is a wonderfully innovative program that shows the true power of multi-disciplinary team work to enhance patient experience.

“This is such a strong example of staff truly collaborating for the benefit of the patients”, he said.

The staff will work with teams to:

  • Identify vulnerable or recurrent patients who present to the emergency departments
  • Provide rapid assessment, intervention and discharge plans in collaboration with other health professionals
  • Initiate early referrals to relevant community health agencies once discharged from hospital, and
  • Build stronger relationships with our community stakeholders in WSLHD in particular the HITH team.