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SWIFT checklist gets green light for statewide rollout

26 November 2020

QEII Emergency Department’s SWIFT (Safe, Well organised, Inter-Facility Transfer) initiative has been selected by Clinical Excellence Queensland’s PROV-ED Project for rollout in Emergency Departments across the Sunshine State. 

SWIFT, a paper-based checklist that serves as a final safety check for patients who are to be transferred from one hospital facility to another for ongoing care, is the brainchild of QEII ED’s Clinical Nurse Consultant Louise Welldon and Emergency Staff Specialist Dr Clare Kao.

“The aim behind SWIFT is to ensure the patient who is going to be transported is going to be safe for that transport,” Ms Welldon said.

“We are trying to avoid any clinical incidents en route so we want to ensure there is no chance of clinical deterioration at the point of leaving. It is about a 60 second safety check that confirms a patient is prepared for transport and has everything they need.”

Ms Welldon said SWIFT has been in place at QEII ED for three years now, with documented evidence showing it has prevented clinical incidents during that time.

“This initiative is potentially life-saving for patients, it doesn’t cost anything, and adds value for clinicians because it is quick to act on. The PROV-ED Team said they were surprised it has taken this long for a common sense solution like this to come about.”

Ms Welldon said PROV-ED staff were currently assisting her and Dr Kao to scale up the initiative so it could be introduced to other hospital EDs over the next six months. 

“PROV-ED facilitates the adoption of successfully piloted initiatives like SWIFT in other EDs to spread innovation. It also builds capacity for health service redesign and quality improvement through multidisciplinary clinician engagement, workforce skills development, and by creating a model for widespread implementation of initiatives.

“Their team has the time, money and resources to engage with EDs across Queensland and even introduce nurses who will act as SWIFT champions in each ED for us,” she said.

Ms Welldon said she hoped SWIFT would also be adapted to support other categories of patients in transit.

“It would be great to see SWIFT utilised for nursing home patients too, and potentially go electronic. There is so much scope there.”

Last updated 26 November 2020
Last reviewed 26 November 2020

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