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Med J Aust. 2009 Apr 6;190(7):364-8.

Access block can be managed.

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  • 1School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Hospitals cannot manage their emergency patients when there is significant access block. There are solutions that should be implemented but require national leadership to be effective. These solutions include an immediate increase in the number of acute hospital beds, improved coordination and increased community capacity to manage medical patients with complex conditions outside acute public hospitals, improved hospital processes, and better standardisation of treatment within emergency departments. There is little evidence that telephone triage, ambulatory care clinics or disaster management techniques, including ambulance diversion, reduce access block.

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