The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) recently launched an online portal which allows parents to gauge how busy the Emergency Department is in real-time, 24 hours a day. The tool was developed in response to research which found that more than 60 per cent of patients with non-life-threatening illnesses sidestepped their local hospital and instead faced long delays at the RCH.
The status guide has three categories: normal activity, very busy and extremely busy. Parents are advised that during extremely busy periods, wait times of more than four hours may be required before their child can be seen by a doctor.
This new tool helps parents understand when to bring their child to the Emergency Department and when it may be better to visit their local hospital or seek advice from a GP.