Providing the best possible care to the greatest number of patients: implementing ED systems in Papua New Guinea

Situated in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea only accessible to the capital Port Mosby by air, the Mount Hagen Public Hospital (MHPH) services more than 400,000 people in this remote region.

In November 2019, the MHPH has officially launched new triage and patient flow systems, designed to help identify patients with urgent healthcare needs so that they can be prioritised for assessment and treatment.

The new systems were initially developed by the World Health Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Adaption and implementation support was supported by a team from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) including Alfred Emergency physician, Dr Rob Mitchell and nurse, Jean-Phillipe Miller.

The new systems include:

  • A three-tier triage system, recently developed by the World Health Organization for resource-limited settings
  • An electronic ED patient registration system, to record patient presentations and monitor ED performance
  • A system for presenting complaint coding, to provide burden of disease data and enable disease surveillance

The implementation of these systems will not only enable a rapid response to urgent patients, but will also support the provision of safe and efficient emergency care in Mt Hagen and other sites in Papua New Guinea. They are assisting the emergency department to save lives daily through a fast, high-quality triage process, patient registration system and data registry.

“It may be the ‘land of the unexpected’, but a lot of positive change can occur in a short amount of time in Papua New Guinea.” Dr Rob Mitchell

Learn more about this project