Irish Association for Emergency Medicine launches IAEM 10 – Ten steps to Improve Emergency Care in Ireland
Ireland’s Emergency Departments (EDs) see over 1.2 million patients per year and are a crucially important cornerstone of the Irish Health Care System. In spite of playing such a crucial role, their capacity to carry out their role safely and effectively is significantly compromised by factors outside the control of the ED, most notably crowding with admitted hospital inpatients. This problem 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. Furthermore, the extent of ED 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.
In order to allow the National Emergency Care System (which includes Emergency Departments and Local Injury Units) to fulfil its role optimally, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine has drawn up a list of 10 key issues that must be addressed; five of which are within the capacity of Emergency Medicine to address and five that require prompt action from agencies other than Emergency Medicine.
At a time where Health and Public Service spending is beginning to increase again after a long period of austerity, it is important that all those who may be in government or positions of managerial responsibility recognise what they must do to ensure that Ireland’s Emergency Care system is supported to properly meet the needs of the public and the legitimate aspirations of those doctors and nurses working in the specialty. 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.