Real time data will see thousands of patients spend less time waiting in emergency departments

Patients, paramedics, and emergency department staff will benefit from a $15.1 million nation-leading upgrade to the ambulance patient allocation matrix system which will help identify the most appropriate emergency department (ED) for patients to be transferred to.

Funded in the 2024-25 NSW Budget, the ambulance matrix is a dashboard that draws on live hospital data to help paramedics determine the nearest, most clinically appropriate ED for all patients arriving to a NSW hospital by ambulance.

The new matrix, known as the “NewGen Matrix”, will now be able to take into account capacity at nearby EDs, the patient’s clinical condition and travel times.

This means the system will assist paramedics in taking a patient to where they can be seen the quickest, not just the closest location.

More than 2000 patients who arrive to an ED by NSW Ambulance per year are also expected to avoid a secondary hospital transfer under the new dynamic matrix.

The current ambulance matrix is almost two decades old and relies on limited, static data inputs that means paramedics do not have visibility of potential delays at emergency departments.

The $15.1 million investment over 4 years will support the rollout across both metropolitan and rural NSW which is expected to commence late 2025.

This new matrix is part of the NSW Government’s ED relief package of more than $480 million over 4 years to further ease pressure on the state’s busy emergency departments.

The ED Relief Package will help avoid an estimated 300,000 visits to the ED each year, improving conditions for our hardworking frontline healthcare staff and connecting more people across NSW with high quality, accessible and timely care.

This is part of the NSW Government’s plan to build a strong health care system and ensure that every person can access the essential services they need.

Premier Chris Minns said:

“I’ve said it before – people are waiting too long to be seen in emergency departments.

“This is an important investment that will help our hardworking frontline staff deliver the care that people deserve, faster.”

Minister for Health Ryan Park said:

“Our hardworking paramedics and healthcare staff are currently under immense pressure with a record number of ambulance responses and ED presentations to our hospitals.

“This necessary upgrade will contribute to a range of initiatives in our ED Relief Package designed to improve patient flow across the system.

“This investment is about equipping our highly skilled paramedics with the latest tech to make their job easier and, importantly, ensure patients receive the most clinically appropriate care in a timely manner.

“This critical upgrade to the ambulance matrix will integrate live data from right across our public health system in real time to help paramedics transport patients to the ED that will be able to treat them as quickly and appropriately as possible.”

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