Will urgent care facility benefit more from additional GP or nurse?

April 5, 2013, University of Twente

More and more hospitals and general practitioners in the Netherlands are collaborating in urgent care facilities: a single point of contact (instead of two) for acute patient care outside office hours. Depending on the patient's medical needs upon intake, he will be referred to the hospital's emergency room or to the GP. This makes healthcare in the Netherlands more efficient, cheaper and better. Scientists at the University of Twente's CTIT research institute have developed a simulation model which gives insight into patient waiting times and the utilization of available equipment and treatment rooms. The simulation model helps the urgent care facility make better choices.

The University of Twente has developed a for the urgent care facility at the ZGT hospital in the city of Almelo. The model calculates patient flows and , providing facility staff with valuable information. It shows that the introduction of the urgent care facility in Almelo has resulted in shorter for all patients. In addition, patients with acute problems receive appropriate care more rapidly.

Additional GP or nurse?

In addition, the simulation model can be used to help facility staff make important choices. Dr Martijn Mes, one of the scientists involved, explains: "For example, is it more advantageous to have an extra GP or an extra nurse on hand - or both - when the facility gets busy? What effect does this choice have on patient flows and processing times? Thanks to the model, we sometimes arrive at decisions that are different than what we initially expected."

Practice session

It is important that everyone involved in the urgent care facility's operations must recognize the added value of the simulation model. Dr Mes continues: "Staff will be more likely to understand certain choices and provide input if they understand how the model works. So we organized a practice session with the doctors and hospital administrators. This gave them the opportunity for some hands-on practice with the model. For example, they could see for themselves how extra staff might impact the operations of the urgent care facility. It also made clear what happens when more patients visit the facility. How can they effectively deal with the increase in patient numbers? It was nice to see that the participants came up with ideas right away for improving the facility's efficiency."

Explore further: Co-located GP clinics can ease the load in ERs

Related Stories

Co-located GP clinics can ease the load in ERs

March 6, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—The addition of a GP clinic at hospitals should reduce waiting times in emergency departments, according to new research.

New model predicts hospital readmission risk

March 25, 2013
Hospital readmissions are a costly problem for patients and for the United States health care system with studies showing nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge at ...

Dementia care model that reduces hospitalizations successfully translated into practice

May 31, 2012
An innovative model of dementia care that significantly reduces emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and encourages use of medications that are not harmful to older brains, has now been used to treat over 1,000 ...

Researchers improve medical units to reduce nursing fatigue, cut costs

January 30, 2013
In hospitals, poor floor design, storage closet clutter and crowded corridors can contribute to nurse and medical staff fatigue. These distractions can hurt patient care quality and result in higher medical costs.

Hospital readmission rates not accurate measure of care quality

August 22, 2011
Avoidable readmissions after discharge from hospital are fairly uncommon and are not an accurate measure of quality of care, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.