Every chance, Every chance that I take, I take it on the road

It has been an interesting few days as the hospital I work in has been in the news for overcrowding. There sometimes feels like there’s a disconnect between overcrowding and patient safety. On one hand, the international evidence repeatedly shows that ED overcrowding has a negative effect on patient outcome, with increased morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, we are all working in busy EDs, and many patients are getting timely, appropriate care from hard-working staff in spite of these pressures. We are hanging on, doing our best, etc, etc.

The disconnect is because while overcrowding does increase patient risk, it doesn’t change the outcome for every patient. The best way to explain this is by the speed limit analogy.

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Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley…

Earlier today, IEMTA, the Irish Emergency Medicine Trainees’ Association were in the news for a letter they sent to Irish statutory body HIQA ( the Health Information and Quality Authority) highlighting the dangerous level of overcrowding that’s currently happening in Irish EDs. You can read about it here.

It was the lead item on the national lunchtime news here. Some thoughts…

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