Action needed now to address risks in emergency communication switchover

The Public Accounts Committee report warns that the target date to replace the radio system used by emergency services is unlikely to be met | Commons Select Committee

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In a their report, the Committee concludes the Emergency Services Network (ESN), which will replace the current Airwave system, “may require more testing and assurance work than the current December 2019 delivery date seems to allow for”.

However, the Committee warns the Home Office has not budgeted for an extended transition period nor put in place detailed contingency arrangements to manage this risk.

ESN, a system not yet in use nationwide anywhere in the world, will be used by the 105 police, fire and ambulance services in Great Britain.

The Government expects it to save money by sharing EE’s existing commercial 4G network.

Read the full overview here

Read the report here

 

Value-Based Approaches for Emergency Care in a New Era

Medford-Davis, L. et al. Annals of Emergency Medicine. Published online: January 5 2017

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Although emergency departments (EDs) play an integral role in the delivery of acute unscheduled care, they have not been fully integrated into broader health care reform efforts. Communication and coordination with the ambulatory environment remain limited, leaving ED care disconnected from patients’ longitudinal care.

In a value-based environment focused on improving quality, decreasing costs, enhancing population health, and improving the patient experience, this oversight represents a missed opportunity for emergency care. When integrated with primary and subspecialty care, emergency care might meet the needs of patients, providers, and payers more efficiently than yet realized.

This article uses the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act as a framework to outline a strategy for improving the value of emergency care, including integrating quality and resource use measures across health care delivery settings and populations, encouraging care coordination from the ED, and implementing robust health information exchange systems.

Read the full abstract here

Packaging Patients and Handing Them Over

Nugus, P. et al. Annals of Emergency Medicine. Published online: December 11 2016

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Study objective: Communication is commonly understood by health professional researchers to consist of relatively isolated exchanges of information. The social and organizational context is given limited credit. This article examines the significance of the environmental complexity of the emergency department (ED) in influencing communication strategies and makes the case for adopting a richer understanding of organizational communication.

 

Conclusion: This study shows that handoff of patients from the ED to other hospital departments is a complex communication process that involves more than a series of “checklistable” information exchanges. Clinicians must learn to use both negotiation and persuasion to achieve objectives.

Read the full abstract here