ED Frequent Presenters

ED Frequent Presenters

Why are we focused on this group?

Many people who frequently attend emergency departments experience complex physical and mental health issues along with social issues like insecure housing and social isolation. As a group, these people interact with many different parts of the health and social service systems, however their care tends to be uncoordinated, and services are often not delivered in a timely, efficient or effective way. 

Recent innovative approaches in the emergency department at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) have worked to identify frequent attenders and connect them with community-based supports. This work has shown how better coordination, case management and intensive community follow up can improve the health system response and better meet the needs of people who experience complex health and social issues. 

Key stakeholders 

Consumers and patients are the central focus of the Alliance’s work and the Alliance has met with people who have complex needs who reside in boarding houses to hear their thoughts on how the health system could be improved to better meet their needs. 

The Health Alliance has engaged a core group of stakeholders focused on this work that includes representatives from Metro North HHS, Brisbane North PHN, RBWH emergency department, mental health service providers, general practice and non-government service providers. 

There are numerous stakeholders outside of the health system that are relevant for this work, including housing services, income support, and disability services. The Alliance has begun to engage with these sectors and this expand this engagement as the work progresses.  

How have we progressed? 

The core group have worked to understand the different sub-groups that should be considered in this work.

In addition to the subgroup identified by the work already underway at RBWH, there is a wider group of people who also frequently attend emergency departments, and there is a group of people who have complex needs who are not attending ED. Some of these people may be receiving effective community-based care, while others may be disconnected to the health system more broadly.

The Alliance is interested in improving outcomes for all three of these sub-groups.

The core group have reached a shared agreement on the challenges facing the local system in caring for this group and this agreed position will now be used to consider how to improve the local system response, with an initial focus on the inner city region. 

Key resources