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Nurses to discharge hospital patients

Nurses at Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia will be discharging patients as part of a new trial that is expected to create more efficient health services.

Beginning early next year, the trial will see nurses given the responsibility of discharging patients based on a patient’s condition improving to predetermined levels.

“It will mean the patient may be able to leave the hospital when they have a particular blood pressure, temperature or blood result within a normal range for that patient,” said Elizabeth Dabars, chief executive officer of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch).

“At this point in time, we have a situation where patients are sitting in beds waiting for discharge where people are aware that their condition has improved to a level such that they really should be going home.”

This new process will increase patient satisfaction with reduced time spent in emergency departments and improved patient services.

“We think that the most important part of this is the benefit for patients,” Dabars said. “It should reduce delays and increase access to the vital hospital beds for patients that really need them.”

Dabars believes that the trial reflects peoples’ awareness of the value that nurses and midwives bring to the health system.

“This will put us in good stead for future career pathways and ensure that our skills levels and expertise are recognised and provide value to the broader community,” she said.

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