ICU telephone referrals to Temple Street and Crumlin Hospitals have been centralised in an effort to improve efficiency and eliminate referral duplication.
The system, which cost €5,000, allows ICU specialists at both hospitals to provide advice and support to non-paediatric doctors. The system has been operating since March and has already received 48 calls.
Dr Cormac Breathnach, a Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist at Crumlin, told the Medical Independent (MI) that the system will reduce the stress involved in getting an ICU referral.
“We’ve created a single call number (1890 213213) so that now if you have a sick child, you phone that number and through conference technology, we bridge the call across both intensive care units. The call is handled by the clinical nurse manager initially at Temple Street and then bridged across to the nurse manager at Crumlin. From there on a conference call ensues where intensive care doctors at both hospitals are brought onto the line. The patient is then triaged accordingly,” he explained.
The previous system gave raise to some inefficiency, he added. There have been instances where both hospitals may be preparing to admit the same patient.
“We’re offering people a single port of call for the robust system whereby they can get confirmation of a bed and access to specialists early. All of those people brought onto the line are consultants, their mobile phones are called directly,” Dr Breathnach said.