Improving referrals between the Emergency Department and the Out-Patient Orthopaedic Clinic
This Quality Improvement (QI) Project Plan centres on the implementation of a new referral pathway scheme within the Emergency Department of a large acute urban hospital. Similar to many out-patient departments, the out-patient fracture clinic within this hospital receives many referrals from general practitioners and emergency departments. The clinics are largely over-crowded whilst waiting lists remain long, in some cases up to 2 years. The aim of this Quality Improvement Project was to implement a referral pathway which could streamline the referrals being sent from the Emergency Department to the out-patient fracture clinic. The longterm goal is to assign a designated individual who will follow-up on all imaging reports from the emergency department in order to direct patients along the most appropriate pathway for the management of their injury. The hope is that less patients will attend the fracture clinic unnecessarily. Those without fractures will be directed to a more suitable healthcare provider for the management of their injury. The emphasis of the project is on maintaining and improving the quality of patient care. Implementing a Quality Improvement Project Plan into any organisation requires extensive planning and research. Input from committee members as well as collaboration from different members of staff is crucial for the success of the project. The QIP plan was guided by the the DMAIC framework, developed over five phases. Evaluation strategies have been outlined in order to measure improvements over time.