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Cardiac patients at the centre of care

Date: 24/06/2013

Patient satisfaction is now at an all-time high in Cabrini Malvern’s south ward thanks to staggered admission times and a collaborative partnership between nurses, medical consulting rooms, orderlies, pre-admission staff, the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, patient services and hotel services departments and Cabrini volunteers.

According to Nurse Unit Manager Nicky Cummins, it is this collaboration that has underpinned the success of a new cardiac short stay (CSS) area.

The new unit – designed for patients undergoing an angiogram, angioplasty, pacemaker insertion, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or electrophysiology studies – has:

  • streamlined the preadmission process for elective procedures
  • decreased the length of time that patients wait for their procedure once admitted
  • reduced the amount of time patients have to spend in hospital

“Previously, a patient might have come in the night before, now they just come in on the day of their procedure,” Nicky explains.

“The first patient who came to the cardiac short stay unit thought it was wonderful. In one day he had seen his doctor, pre-admission staff had called, all his blood work had been done and all he had to do on the actual day was walk in, put on a gown, have a drip put in, have his procedure, have his observations done, and off he went home.”

As well as streamlining pre-admission, the team has been able to remove some of the delays at the time of discharge. For example, in the past where a patient might have waited three to four hours for a family member to collect them, more timely communication between the family and CSS now means that patients are collected immediately or, at most, within 30 minutes.

Nicky says that the benefits are flowing through to north ward, level 1, Cabrini Malvern and the coronary care unit (CCU).

“Between December 2012 and mid-February 2013, we had 289 patients in CSS and before we had this dedicated area, these patients would have been mixed in with coronary care patients.

“With 75 cardiac beds across Cabrini, it is crucial that we have the right patients in the right beds and by establishing the CSS, we are freeing up coronary care beds and not blocking beds that are needed for very sick patients.

“It’s a combined team effort, from the staff in cardiac-medical consulting rooms who do so much work with patients prior to admission, the dedication of the nursing pre-admission staff who pre-admit the patients to facilitate CSS, through to the orderlies and staff from Cabrini Linen Service.

Fast facts 
  • 99 per cent of patients receiving elective cardiac-medical procedures are now pre-admitted (previously zero)
  • Patients now receive information kits about their procedure before they have it, and have a known admission and procedure time
  • Actual wait times are 0-15 minutes (with some exceptions that will be the focus of quality improvement)
  • Patients have rated their experience of the cardiac short stay unit as 4.5/5 (the highest level of satisfaction)