Acute care is urgent or unplanned health care that a person receives for an illness or injury. Acute care is time sensitive and can result in death or long-term disability if the person does not quickly receive the care they need.
As in other developed countries, the demands on New Zealand’s acute care services are increasing due to our growing and ageing population, and long-term conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In addition, our workforce will continue to be stretched as many GPs and nurses retire over the next 10 years.
It is important that acute care services identify new ways of working to manage these greater demands effectively. We need to strengthen our ability to manage acute demand and deliver more planned care in the community, rather than unplanned care in hospitals.
This document is designed to identify gaps in local acute service delivery. It provides tips to implement strategies for teams, departments and organisations wanting to see improved practice and improved health outcomes for their patients.
It is relevant to a wide range of health professionals and groups including alliance leadership teams, service-level alliances, executive leaders, service managers, change managers and clinicians. It can be used in a wide range of health services including general practice, ambulance services, allied health, after-hours services, emergency departments and hospital services.
It is intended to be a living document. If you have feedback or initiatives that are working well in your district please send these through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Patient Pathways: Nelson Bays Territory Tasman District – St John (PDF, 2.3 MB)
- Clinical Pathways: Canterbury District – St John (PDF, 2 MB)
- Streaming and the Use of Emergency Department Observation Units and Inpatient Assessment Units – Ministry of Health (Word, 72 KB)
- Escalation Plan – Counties Manukau District Health Board (Word, 64 KB)
- Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department Shift Report – Canterbury District Health Board (Word, 142 KB)