Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Acute Surgical Assessment Units

Acute Surgical Assessment Units (ASAUs) are dedicated surgical units where acutely ill surgical patients can be assessed and monitored prior to being admitted to hospital, or being treated and discharged.

They form an integral part of the National Clinical Programme (NCPS) 2013 'Model of Care for Acute Surgery'. Their main aim is to improve patient flow and provide better access to assessment, investigation and senior decision makers. According to the Model of Care for Acute Surgery: “ASAUs may be stand-alone, preferably in close proximity to an Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) in a Model 4 hospital or part of a wider emergency assessment unit with, for example, an AMAU in a Model 3 Hospital”.

Assessing, prioritising and treating patients in a rapid streamlined fashion through the ASAU has the potential to result in a shorter length of stay, a more positive experience for the patient, fewer complications and a lower mortality rate. In 2016, NCPS entered into a collaborative project to develop an ASAU in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital and University Hospital Galway as proof of concept focus-sites. The NCPS are exploring current and future modules of ASAUs, and have collaborated with the HPO to formalise the Minimum standards for Acute Surgical Assessment Units (ASAUs) in Ireland..

Minimum standards for Acute Surgical Assessment Units (ASAUs) in Ireland (PDF, 300KB)

Acute Floor Information System

The Acute Floor Information System (AFIS) is currently being developed to record information for EDs, AMAUs and ASAUs across the country. NCPS Clinical Leads are contributing to the development of this system. AFIS will provide access to similar information to that available through HIPE in relation to inpatient care provided. It will provide information on access, quality and cost of unscheduled care services.

The key areas it will cover are triage, patient tracking and data reporting; Clinical documentation and discharge communication and diagnostic coding.