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HIQA has proposed monitoring emergency departments against national healthcare standards, which will focus primarily on the quality and safety of services provided to older patients, the Medical Independent can report.
Following a discussion at the Authority’s board meeting in January, a paper was prepared for the board’s consideration outlining a proposed approach in line with HIQA’s role and remit.
The paper examined the pathway of older people from admission to discharge, based on HIQA’s standards, Sláintecare and a human rights-based approach to care.
Director of Regulation Ms Mary Dunnion told a board meeting on 11 March that HIQA has previously made recommendations for the provision of emergency care at national and individual hospital level, but that these recommendations remained “largely unimplemented” and that HIQA did not have enforcement powers in the area.
Ms Dunnion clarified that the proposed approach will be aligned with the intentions set out in the Sláintecare service framework for an integrated pathway of care for older people. She had met with Sláintecare representatives who indicated interest in being involved in HIQA’s approach.
The timeline for piloting this approach was initially planned for the end of 2020. However, it has since been acknowledged that the timeline will have to be reconsidered in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.