Providing Physiotherapy Services in Emergency

08/Sep/2021     Health

Earlier this year we heard how Mater Hospital Brisbane Emergency Department had begun a six-month trial of having a dedicated physiotherapist in the department.

Following the successful trial, the services have now been made permanent and physiotherapy assistance will be offered to patients in emergency seven-days-a -week.

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Team Leader Stephen Erceg said during the trial both physiotherapists and emergency clinicians reported many benefits to patients and staff.

“We saw greater efficiency of patient flow through the Emergency Department, where the teams worked collaboratively to assess, treat and discharge or admit patients appropriately,” Mr Erceg said.

“Patients benefitted from having a physiotherapist assess their injury so quickly which enabled them to work with the patient to initiate recovery and minimise the risk of prolonging or aggravating their injury.

“Something as simple as being taught the right way to get out of bed, sit down in a chair or some simple movement exercises could save a patient recovery time, prevent re-injury and provide much needed relief.”

Stephen explained the physiotherapists typically see between 10 – 12 patients per shift which did not sound like a lot but had a notable impact on the department’s efficiency and daily throughput.

“For example, during the month of April all patients managed by our Physiotherapists were successfully discharged and none needed to be admitted. This was a great outcome for both the patients and hospital,” Mr Erceg said.

A physiotherapist will be available in the Emergency Department seven days a week from 7.30 am to 4 pm.

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