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Among the needs highlighted by the association is provision of effective alternatives to attending EDs for patients not suffering acute severe illness or injury, and effective alternatives to admission for ED patients who do not require a hospital bed.
Additionally, it says retention of doctors in emergency medicine requires terms and conditions that “appropriately recognise” the nature and intensity of the work.
On steps the IAEM is taking, the association says it is advocating for better and safer conditions for patients and staff in EDs and promoting careers in emergency medicine, among other actions.
In a statement, the association said EDs in Ireland see over 1.2 million patients per year.
It said over-crowding of EDs with admitted hospital inpatients “represents a failure of the healthcare system to adequately support EDs by ensuring that an inpatient hospital bed is available in a timely fashion for those who require one”.
According to the IAEM, the extent of ED over-crowding is often affected by “flawed prioritisation of scheduled care over unscheduled care in a system that has been shown to be short of the necessary capacity to manage both to the level required”.
It noted: “The Report of the National Emergency Medicine Programme published in June 2012 and strongly endorsed by the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine provides a clear blueprint for the national emergency care system and the standards of care we should aspire to.”
The 10 steps outlined by the IAEM are as below:
5 things IAEM is doing
1. Providing expert advice on the current status of Emergency Medicine in Ireland and describing the future development of Emergency Care
2. Working with the community, HSE and politicians to improve emergency care and the patient experience in Emergency Departments
3. Advocating for safer conditions for patients and staﬀ in Emergency Departments
4. Promoting careers in Emergency Medicine and advocating for sustainable careers at every level
5. Providing guidance on care standards and research in Emergency Medicine and supporting the National Emergency Medicine Programme
5 things others need to do
1. Ensure that admitted patients are not boarded on Emergency Department trolleys as this leads to crowding which harms patients
2. Provide eﬀective alternatives to attending Emergency Departments for patients not suﬀering acute severe illness or injury
3. Provide eﬀective alternatives to admission for Emergency Department patients who don’t require a hospital bed
4. Ensure all parts of the health service share responsibility for timely, equitable access to high quality unscheduled care
5. Retain doctors in Ireland by providing terms and conditions that appropriately recognise the nature and intensity of Emergency Medicine work