Medical Assessment Units in NSW
Medical Assessment Units (MAUs) are hospital units that treat some patients who would typically have been treated in an emergency department. Patients can be admitted directly to the MAU by their doctor, or can be assessed at triage by the ED nurse or doctor, who decides on their suitability for admission to the MAU. Even if they are admitted into the ED they can still be transferred to the MAU after a short period of time.
The Medical Assessment Units across NSW operate under differing and innovative models of care. As such, each unit provides a description of their model of care in their business rules. Also contained within the business rules are staffing models, patient selection criteria, escalation plans, patient flow, and much more.
The Medical Assessment Units across NSW are utilising best practice principles to care for their patients. The Evidence Base includes links to the literature that has paved the way for many innovative models of care, and poster presentations developed by some of the MAUs to showcase their innovative models and best practice principles.
The Medical Assessment Units across NSW are designing faster, safer and better ways to care for patients. To provide patients with this type of care, many units have designed forms that take out the guess work. This has proven to be extremely useful, especially to those who may be new to these units.
Medical Assessment Units (MAUs) were originally established in NSW in 2008. They were developed in conjunction with the Physicians Taskforce and Acute Care Taskforce to deliver faster, safer better care for the elderly and those with chronic conditions and as an alternative to treatment in the Emergency Department (ED).
MAUs are able to do this as they are designed to conduct rapid assessment, faster diagnosis and provide earlier treatment. They are staffed by experienced doctors, nurses and allied health staff who are specialists in caring for older people and/or people of all ages with chronic conditions.
Once the MAU staff assess and diagnose the patients condition, as well as provide some treatment they will arrange for the patient to either safely return home or transfer to a specialty ward within 48 hours.
If patients require ongoing care or support in their home environment this is arranged while they are in the Medical Assessment Unit.