‘REACH out to us’, commonly known as the REACH system, has been in place across Mercy Health – Health Services (Victoria) since early 2015. It is based on the program originally established by the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission.
The Mercy Health Deteriorating Patient Committee monitors the REACH system, including the volume and types of calls and patient understanding and engagement with the system. The committee is made up of Mercy Health staff and also includes a consumer advisor.
There are posters in patient rooms and information in high traffic areas at Mercy Hospital for Women and Werribee Mercy Hospital to advise patients, carers and family members of the REACH system. REACH information is also provided in admission documentation.
The Deteriorating Patient Committee has recognised that there have been very few REACH calls at Mercy Health since implementation of the system. A project has been initiated by the Deteriorating Patient Committee in association with the Patient-Centered Care Expert Advisory Group to review and refresh the REACH system. This project aims to improve staff, patient, client, family and carer knowledge of REACH. The project will engage patients, families and carers to also help determine how we can improve understanding of the system. A relaunch of REACH is scheduled to occur in early 2021 following the review. This will include an updated procedure, information for patients, families and carers and staff education.
Mercy Care Centre Young and Mercy Health Albury’s patients, carers and families are able to access the Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s REACH system.
REACH at work
Recently, a high-risk antenatal patient was admitted to Mercy Hospital for Women 24 weeks pregnant. Two days after her admission, she experienced a complication with her pregnancy that lead to an emergency caesarean section delivery. The patient spent her first night following the birth in the High Dependency Unit and her baby went to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The following afternoon she was transferred back to the postnatal ward.
Recognise – While on the postnatal ward, the patient spoke to her friend via phone and expressed that she was feeling very upset. At this stage visiting was limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Engage – The patient’s friend then called the switchboard operator to try to get some assistance for her friend as she was really worried about her.
Act – Following this interaction, the switchboard operator called the Associate Unit Manager to get some assistance for the patient.
Call – The switchboard operator also activated a REACH call for the patient.
Help is on its way – The Associate Unit Manager attended to the patient at her bedside. The Hospital Coordinator and medical staff also responded to the patient and had a long discussion about her concerns.
The Unit Manager reviewed the case. She followed up with the patient, who expressed gratitude that the call was made and that her concerns were listened to.
Last reviewed March 10, 2021.