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New blood leading Logan Hospital’s Emergency Department

23 August 2018

The new Director of Logan Hospital’s Emergency Department has proved she is adaptable, capable and enthusiastic about change so there’s no better person for the job of leading Queensland’s second busiest and most culturally dynamic ED.

Yolande Weiner always wanted to be a doctor; she wanted to help and treat acutely unwell people.

Completing her medical degree at the University of Pretoria and her post graduate studies at the universities of Capetown and Stellenbosch in her native South Africa, Dr Weiner also spent years in rural and GP service before moving to Australia with her husband in 2008.

Now a mother to a five-year-old daughter, Dr Weiner said she was admitted as a fellow to the Australian College of Emergency Medicine in 2010, working at Gold Coast Hospital before making her career move to Logan, the state’s second busiest Emergency Department.

“Things have changed significantly since I arrived in Australia 10 years ago,” she said. “You can feel the busyness.

“Overcrowding was even worse in South Africa but the biggest thing for me coming here was actually having computers to track patients. That was amazing for me; to be able to see who was in your waiting room and how many people are waiting.”

Dr Weiner said her rise to the top was born from a desire to facilitate change; to help staff improve their own working environment and help them provide the very best care to patients.

“When you’re on the floor you deal with day-to-day frustrations and come up with ideas of things that you want to do, but you never know where to take those ideas to make that change.

“I want to engage with staff, to empower them to make those changes, to make them feel like they’re making a difference to improve their work.”

With a “keen interest” in clinical improvement, Dr Weiner said she was already getting staff involved in process mapping; in working out where the problems were, what was causing them and coming up with solutions.

She said with girl power on her side, the Logan Hospital Emergency Department leadership team of Nursing Director Kathy Flanigan and Nurse Unit Manager Tracy Churchill, was now working from the ground up, to ensure the department lived up to their new motto “best place to work, best place for care”.

“The patients will always be there but if you want your staff to come back to work every day you need to engage them and make changes that will have a positive impact on them and on patient care as well.”

Formally appointed to the top job in June, Dr Weiner said while the nature of the community Logan Hospital served created wide-ranging challenges, tangible and measurable improvements were being made.

“One of the things that has made a difference is the introduction of the Clinical Decision Unit, the CDU, and our times to meaningful treatment. It has changed the way we care for our patients, streamlining the patient pathway, reducing length of stay and inpatient admissions.

“The vast majority of our Category 2 patients at Logan Hospital are ‘walk-ins’ which is quite unique to our service and our community.

“We sit with all the tertiary hospitals with the number of patients and type of patients we are seeing. The challenge is the combination of finite bed capacity and unexpected surges in patient numbers and acuity pulling resources to critical situations.

“But, the ED is about doing things all the time, seeing end results and I like working with the acutely unwell.”

Dr Weiner said while her role was an ongoing challenge, it was support at home and her down time with family that kept her grounded and calm.

“My husband is now a stay-at-home dad. It was a big challenge for him but he’s mastering it now.

“My daughter is five and she is really good - and she is going to stay really good forever!” Dr Weiner said with a laugh.

“I love running; it can be challenging to find the time to go running,” she said, having just completed the Gold Coast half marathon in July.

“My daughter is keen to run with me and I love doing crafty things with her. I am busy making a Moana outfit for her for Book Week.”

Last updated 23 August 2018

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