Patient Numbers Increase At PDH

Monday, 17 July 2017
More people are turning to Portland District Health for their care, leading to the biggest increase in patient numbers for several years.

During both May and June, PDH recorded about 50 more patient discharges than usual, an increase of about 12per cent. The extra patient numbers are helping PDH's financial performance and its ability to grow services for the local community.

The influx of patients has included significant increases in oncology and elective orthopaedics.

It also follows a long `It's OK to Ask' campaign urging local people to ask their doctor if they can be treated locally.

We've had about 50 discharges more for each month than what we would normally do, Director of Nursing Ros Alexander said. This helps PDH because we make more money and that can then be put back into equipment and services at PDH.

The extra elective orthopaedic cases follow higher demand and need from the community, promoting PDH to add extra lists for visiting specialists. PDH has recorded an average 14 extra elective orthopaedic cases each month.

Physician and haematologist Dr Jennifer Brotchie, who visits each Tuesday, has increased her patient load requiring chemotherapy since starting at PDH earlier this year. There has been an increase of about 22 oncology discharges per month.

CEO Chris Giles said PDH had been encouraging local residents to use their local health service whenever possible.

Ms Giles said the `It's OK' campaign was launched because PDH was aware some people had been referred to Ballarat and Geelong for procedures that could have been done safely and quickly in Portland. This isn't good for patients, our community or our health service, she said.

PDH is well supported by a wide range of visiting elective surgery specialists and the health service performs a comprehensive list of procedures, including orthopaedics, general surgery, plastic surgery, urology, ophthalmology, ear nose and throat surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology and dental surgery.

PDH is a safe hospital with exceptionally low surgical infection rates, a world class medication management system, 24-hour on call support from senior consultant physicians and anaesthetists, a doctor rostered onsite at all times, a skilled nursing and allied health workforce and modern facilities and equipment. PDH also has a comprehensive education program to ensure all staff have the skills to keep patients safe and well cared for.

Ms Giles added that research shows patients are better off if they can have procedures done close to home.

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