GPs gatekeepers of Emergency Departments

Denmark – The National Coordinator is Mr. Bertil Selde Krogh.

The presenters were Minna Alhonen, Hospital and Facility Designer and Coordinator, Finland, Iwona Mazur, CEO, Poland, Taina Sneck-Siekkinen, Assistant Head Nurse, Finland, Michela Bottega, Nursing Manager, Italia, Rosa Amora Vas, Director of Quality Management, Portugal, Carole Thibaut-Jobe, Hospital Manager, France, Susana Gómez Leyva, Head of Patient & Citizenship Assistance Service, Spain, Severina Dominquez, Medical Doctor, Head of Department, Spain, Stefanie Kolada, Financial Controller, Germany, Andrea Sallegger, Nursing Manager, Austria.

They presented three innovations – the emergency pathway, a cancer fast track system and a citizen’s design system.

They said in Denmark every patient had to call the emergency helpline before going to the ED and the GPs on call helped to triage patients even at night time.

The GPs were the gatekeepers of the service. The EDs triaged and planned for patients’ arrival and organised their pathways.

The emergency pathway provided a predictable patient flow on the regional level and integration with GPs and EDs. There was one entrance for all patients – somatic and psychiatric.

The cancer fast track system provided appointments, exams, diagnostics and treatment within 30 days. If cancer patients were not treated on time, they could go to a private hospital. Typically, patients with suspected breast cancer would get all examinations in one day, have a diagnosis within seven days, be operated on within 30 days and discharged the same day. If they needed help, they could get in touch with a contact person and after seven days would get the final results.

Citizen design was a way of involving and empowering patients and enabling them, their relatives and politicians, learning from previous experience and improving patient pathways. Patients are contacted two years following discharge and their story used to improve patient flow.

The outcome for the healthcare system was higher efficiency, improved quality and financial savings, with the patient always at the centre.