Managing Influenza Like Illness in Hunter New England, lessons learnt from Lower Hunter Sector 2017.

Ms Patricia Karbowiak1

1Hunter New England Local Health District, Belmont, Australia



Early recognition, resource allocation and patient management for patients requiring admission during periods of increased hospital activity due to Influenza Like Illness.


Use of electronic tracking and surveillance systems to risk assess patient bed allocation during periods of increased hospital activity.  Management strategies include identification of at risk patients, appropriate isolation, allocation of bathrooms and cohorting.


Total number of patients with Respiratory symptoms admitted to Lower Hunter Sector facilities during the period was one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine patients. Total number of healthcare acquisitions for the sector 18. During Influenza season 2017 Maitland hospital medical admissions rose by a mean of 8% from July to September 2017.

Post surge debriefing activities led to the creation of appropriate additional resources as the period of increased activity reduced including Winter Webpage, Policy Compliance Procedure, factsheets and bed management flow charts.


Despite limited single room availability the application of risk based transmission based precautions and patient bed allocation allowed timely access to care for patient admission and allowed us to review and create better clinical management systems for future use.


Trish is passionate about Quality care for all, as such Excellence and review of clinical practice are the mainstays of her work ethic. Creating clinical resources which enhance patient experience, include patients in their own care, support staff to support each other in best practice and reduce the risk of infection during hospital admissions is her passion.

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