An innovative new model of heightened care for patients, who are identified as being at medium risk of post-operative complications, is underway at Peter Mac.

The trial is focussed on improving their recovery for a better outcome.

Post surgery, these patients are accommodated in the new Extended Recovery Unit (ERU), co located in the Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit on level six. The patients will remain in the ERU for up to 24 hours. 

“While these patients do not need to be in a High Dependency Unit, we can increase the safety of their care,” Dr Ian Richardson said.

“A recovery nurse ratio of 1:2 patients and an increase in the frequency of doctor visits will help our team to zero in on preventable complications following surgery.”

Peter Mac is among four Australian hospitals participating in this trial.

Suitable surgical patients are chosen by experienced clinicians, using a number of tools. One of these is using the National Safety and Quality Improvement Project data to risk-stratify suitable surgical patients.

This enables Peter Mac’s clinicians to give patients a more accurate assessment of their clinical risks, using validated, risk-adjusted clinical and administrative data from hospitals around the world. 

While trialling quality improvement practices to ensure safer patient care is an ongoing strategic priority, this trial brings opportunities for both junior and senior recovery nurses – the chance to work with patients in need of longer recovery care.

An added bonus is that the team have more certainty about patient handover times, making it easier to collaborate with our precinct partners through a more structured and predictable working pattern. 

Patients that have come through the ERU, which has been open a week, are giving excellent feedback, quoting feelings of increased security and care.