Papua New Guinea

The Mount Hagen Emergency Department Triage Development Initiative aims to improve the quality and timeliness of emergency care at Mount Hagen Provincial Hospital (MHPH) in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

A team of emergency physicians and nurses from Australia are supporting staff at MHPH Emergency Department to implement several new systems. These 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

These new systems will be evaluated for their impact on the safety and efficiency of emergency care. If successful, the project will be replicated in other sites in Papua New Guinea. 

The team from Australia is being led by Dr Rob Mitchell, Emergency Physician from Alfred Health Emergency, on behalf of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. The project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade through a Friendship Grant.


MEDIA RELEASE

Providing the best possible care to the greatest number of patients: implementing emergency department systems in the Western Highlands of 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


ARTICLE

The road to paradise: Developing Emergency Medicine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea

Your ED - Mount Hagen article_Page_1

Your ED | The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine  Autumn 2019

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. In only three years, the Mount Hagen Public Hospital (MHPH) has gone from an ED lacking in systems, leadership and direction, to a department with all of the foundations for a promising future.

Read the whole article: The road to paradise: Developing Emergency Medicine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea in the “Your ED” magazine.

By Dr Rob Mitchell – Emergency physician at the Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre in Melbourne and Project Lead for the Mount Hagen Emergency Department Triage Development Initiative.