In acute situations, it is essential for patients to find a place in the right hospital with the least possible delay. This requires information on available hospital capacity in such departments as Accident and Emergency (A & E), first aid centre, shockroom or CT-based thrombolysis. This information should be directly available in the acute care chain (central station dispatchers, paramedics and emergency-care providers) in order to reduce the effects that delays might have on patient care.
In many cases, this information is obtained using faxes, phone calls and shared whiteboards. This method is in most cases good, but the risk of error and confusion is great. Commissioned by the umbrella organisations in the acute chain, Nictiz developed the web application 'Acute Care Portal’ to give an immediate online picture of the relevant hospital capacities.
The Acute Care Portal provides support to Regional Acute Care (Regionaal Overleg Acute Zorg - ROAZ, in Dutch) to comply with the Health Care Institutions Access Act (Wet Toelichting Zorginstellingen - WTZi, in Dutch). This act requires all providers of acute care to cooperate better and secure distribution and accessibility agreements in the Regional Acute Care chain.
The white paper on available hospital capacity for acute care at a glance describes how healthcare providers in acute care with the Acute Care Portal can find out easily and quickly which hospitals are available for the patient.