Patients, families and whānau will likely have little contact with the people behind the scenes who keep the ICU running.
Day-to-day patient administration is carried out by a team of Ward Clerks. Their job includes maintaining and ordering medical records every time someone comes into ICU, keeping the hospital electronic patient system updated, and liaising with many other departments within the hospital. They do all this whilst answering the telephones and the main entrance intercom. During office hours, the ICU front desk is staffed by volunteers. They will help visitors get to where they need to be, and talk to the senior nurse in charge of the ICU to help answer any questions. Some of our volunteers have been in the ICU as patients or visitors so understand how best to help.
In the back office, a team of administrators and the ICU secretary keep the unit running smoothly. Working with the ICU clinical managers, they ensure that the almost 250 staff are rostered, registered, and paid correctly as well as providing support for research and the many education courses the ICU runs every year.
The ICU collects large amounts of information about the care we provide, to ensure that the quality remains high. Along with every other major ICU in Australia and New Zealand, Wellington contributes anonymous data to the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) patient databases. These reports are reviewed by the Health Quality & Safety Commission and allows our outcomes to be compared against all other ICUs.
To process and submit this information, we employ a full-time ICU database manager with expertise in programming and data cleaning.
All these people allow the clinical staff to focus on providing care to patients. Although they mostly work backstage, they are essential members of the Wellington ICU team.