Emergency Medicine

The aim of the Emergency Medicine Programme (EMP) is to improve the safety and quality of patient care in emergency departments (EDs) and to reduce waiting times for patients.

The EMP is led by a multidisciplinary working group that includes consultants in emergency medicine, emergency nurses, representatives of pre-hospital care and the therapy professions. It is supported by the Irish Committee for Emergency Medicine Training, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, the National Board for Ireland of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director, the Therapies Professions Committee and the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division (CSPD) of the HSE.

The EMP working group is also supported by an advisory group. 

  • National Clinical Lead: Dr Gerry McCarthy
  • National Programme Manager: Mary Flynn
  • National Nurse Lead: Fiona McDaid
  • Microsystems Facilitator: Lisa Toland
  • National Administrator and Project Support: Sinead Reilly

National Working Group

  • Dr Gerry McCarthy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Cork University Hospital, National Clinical Lead
  • Susanna Byrne, Interim Director, Nursing & Midwifery Planning and Development, HSE
  • Dr Una Geary, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, St James's Hospital, Dublin
  • Mr Fergal Hickey, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Sligo Regional Hospital
  • Dr Carol Blackburn, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin
  • Fiona McDaid, Clinical Nurse Manager 3, Emergency Department, Naas General Hospital, National Nurse Lead
  • Breda Naddy, National Programme Manager, National Emergency Medicine Programme
  • Dr Emily O'Conor, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Connolly Hospital. Dublin
  • Sinead Reilly, National Administrator and Project Support, National Emergency Medicine Programme
  • Val Small, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, St James's Hospital, Dublin (ANP Lead)
  • Dr Gareth Quin, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, University Hospital, Limerick
  • Rosie Quinn, Physiotherapist, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda (Therapy Professionals Representative)
  • Dr Anna Moore, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Midland Regional Hospitals Tullamore and Mullingar
  • Lisa Toland, Microsystems Facilitator, QID
  • Katy Twomey, A/Deputy Social Work Manager, Cork University Hospital

The team can be contacted at emp@rcsi.ie or follow progress on Twitter

  • EMEWS training: The Emergency Medicine Early Warning System (EMEWS) is a national clinical guideline, recommended for use in EDs when patients are waiting longer for review by a treating clinician than is recommended based on their Manchester Triage System (MTS) category. Based on international experience, if a patient flow into and through the hospital were more optimal, there would be little need to introduce a schedule of on-going monitoring. It is the responsibility of the hospital's CEO/GM to optimise patient flow and ensure timely and appropriate action is taken to eliminate/minimise ED crowding.
  • Emergency Department Activity and Profile (EDAP): This project that was developed by the EMP, OpenApp and the Health Intelligence Unit (HIU). The purpose of EDAP is to provide 'close to real-time' data that is clinically and managerially relevant. It uses the BIU PET data to describe the activity of the department, allowing for the input of ED profile/resources information as well as 'daily events' data to put context on that activity. Some information on patient profiles within an ED’s catchment area is also available. This allows users to understand the performance of their own ED in the context of the resources available including staff, infrastructure, access to diagnostics.
  • Microsystems: Clinical microsystems (CM) is a quality improvement methodology first developed in Dartmouth, US. A CM is a front-line unit that provides healthcare, with on a focus on patient care, and  the role of support staff, processes, technology and recurring patterns of information, behaviour and results. The EMP selected the CM approach to guide quality improvement in EDs in Ireland because it is a pragmatic and intuitive improvement approach that has been used to good effect in the ED setting. The methodology is closely linked with the IHI methodology and elements such as plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles are common across the two methodologies.
  • ED videos: The EMP has developed a suite of public videos about the EDs and the patient pathways in emergency medicine.