Frequent attender OPD clinics

Individuals who frequently attend the ED can attend for a variety of reasons which may not be an emergency.  Patients who are lonely, anxious, depressed/stressed, have poor compliance with medications/medical recommendations, or have poor access to services or equipment which could assist safety/confidence at home may attend the ED as they are not sure what else to do.

Identify this group of patients who regularly present to the ED (more than 4 presentations in 3 months) with these types of concerns. Offer these patients access to a Psychologist or an Occupational Therapist (choice of Allied health professional based on reason for presentations) outpatient appointment/s post discharge from the ED (or while in ED if possible) in a clinic or their home to address underlying reasons for attending the ED.  The allied health will also work with the patient’s GP & other health service providers in the community to help support the patient & the continuum of care. They will also refer to other services as needed  such as Physiotherapy or Social Work (either public or private provider as appropriate).  It would also link with existing ED services such as the GEDI service.

Why the contribution is important

Addressing the underlying concern/issue (eg. Anxiety/poor compliance with health recommendations/loneliness/reduced coping in home-needing services/support) causing frequent ED attendance, would be expected to reduce the frequency of future ED attendances.  This would also assist individuals to remain home & feel safer by linking with services or supports within the community & with the patient’s GP.

by coccetta on August 10, 2019 at 11:38PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 6 votes


  • Posted by willett August 11, 2019 at 16:47

    This is a great idea. However, I would suggest that these clinics are staffed by experienced general practitioners along with physiotherapist, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers. The expectation needs to be that patients are seen once or most twice in such a clinic and discharged back to a regular GP.
    Over recent years there has been a tendency for secondary and tertiary health services to sometimes forget that many of the services they provide could be better done outside the walls of the hospital. It is contributing to significant blowouts in state health spending.
  • Posted by mcrice August 12, 2019 at 16:55

    Experienced GPs salaried at consultant/VMP rates with sick leave, super, PDL, holidays etc could do a lot of good. In clinics accredited to RACGP standards with suitable infrastructure (primary-care grade software for example). Effectively, they'd be running non-Medicare general practices within the State system; funded like all the other non-GP specialists. Great idea! GPs are the BEST at this longterm care rather than meet'em'n'street'em
  • Posted by RodW August 13, 2019 at 21:40

    Agree. Concept is sound.
    GPs are the best specialists to do this.
    But they need equitable funding to make it worthwhile.
    And agree with comments that discharge back to regular GP is paramount.
    Challenge is - offer this service. Make it good and it will be abused. Is that what is needed?

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