The Paediatric Emergency Centres (PEC) of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) introduced a unique clinic to care for patients  stable enough to be discharged from the hospital but still require intravenous (IV) medication.

Previously, these patients would have been required to stay, but the Early Emergency Discharge Clinic (EEDC) allows them to be discharged sooner. The Clinic is beneficial for both the PEC and the patients as it decreases the length of stay and admissions to hospitals, and allow patients to safely return home within a shorter period.

PEC Director of Nursing Gloria Arrojo said that when they first introduced the EEDC in 2011, it was to free up beds for more critical cases. The clinic was previously known as the Antibiotic Clinic. EEDC was relocated to Al Sadd PEC in 2016.

Since opening, a total of 6,729 patients have been received at the EEDC. Before a child is referred to the EEDC, they must meet certain criteria, including having been born full term or near term (in case of newborns), have no history of neonatal intensive care unit admission, have stayed a minimum of 12 hours at the PEC observation room, and have completed two doses of penicillin.

Arrojo explained that once a patient meets the criteria for the EEDC, their parent or caregiver is provided with instructions, which include all the necessary information about their condition and the importance of strict compliance with the treatment regime. They are also provided with instructions on how to care for the child’s intravenous cannula – the small plastic tube inserted into a peripheral vein to administer fluids, medication, and nutrition.

Before a patient is referred to the EEDC, parents must demonstrate that they fully understand the discharge instructions and their responsibilities.  Arrojo stresses that they don’t just discharge patients and ask them to come to the EEDC.

We make sure that their caregivers fully understand that the child is in need of intravenous medication. They sign a consent form that confirms their commitment to bring the child in time for his or her antibiotic dose and to comply with the discharge instructions.’

Dr Khalid Al Ansari, Medical Director of Paediatric Emergency Services, said the clinic was created to make beds available for more critical cases, decrease the length of stay, and deliver safe, quality care in a more efficient manner.

It has improved our existing services, decreased the escalating patient to staff ratio, improved overall patient satisfaction, and allowed us to accommodate more patients – which is a priority due to the country’s increasing population. The introduction of the EEDC has also allowed us to spend more quality time with our patients requiring more attention.’

There are currently over 80 observation room spaces across five PEC located in Al Sadd, Old Airport, Al Rayyan, Al Dayeen, and Al Shamal. A team of over 120 doctors and 410 nurses work around the clock across these five PEC.

For more information, visit the HMC website at hamad.qa