Bariatric Specialist Multi-Disciplinary Consultancy Service (Team B-A-R-I)

Mr Peter Young1, Miss Natalie Papallo1

1Western NSW Local Health District, Orange, Australia

Orange Health Service (OHS) is reasonably well equipped with specialised equipment, yet this pool is poorly managed, stored and maintained, resulting in inefficiencies, inappropriate prescriptions and unnecessary hiring of external equipment.

Planned and unplanned admissions of bariatric patients are becoming more prevalent, representing an increased risk to the organisation in terms of staff and patient injury, equipment acquisition and maintenance, and cost of service (increased staffing, increased length of stay, greater need for specialised training).

The Specialist Multi-Disciplinary Consultancy Service (Team B-A-R-I) provides individualised assessments and recommendations regarding the appropriate manual handling and equipment needs of all bariatric patients entering OHS. This service is accessed via a referral hotline (alpha numeric phone number is B-A-R-I or 2274) and backed up overnight and weekends by clear guidelines around the handling and equipment needs of new patients until a formal assessment by the team is performed.

The current focus of Team B-A-R-I is the objective identification of bariatric patients arriving in the Emergency Department using newly purchased hospital bed and wheelchair scales, and a locally accepted definition of “bariatric”. Education has been delivered to the Emergency Department staff in regards to the measurement process, appropriate documentation in the electronic medical record and referral pathway to Team B-A-R-I.

A BASK (Bariatric Action Starter Kit) has also been developed and placed in the Emergency Department, containing specialised bariatric equipment and consumables.

Collaboration with the Health Information Department and Clinical Coders has identified that bariatric patients with specific needs will result in a higher complexity code under Activity Based Funding, which will attract significant increases in funding for a particular patient’s episode of care.

There is potential for this consultancy service to be replicated in the other two base hospital facilities within Western NSW Local Health District, with peripheral facilities to be supported via Telehealth.


Biography: To be confirmned

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2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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