Austin Health Emergency Department external triage process and access changes

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  22 April 2020  Austin Health   |   Third party content – view disclaimer

Austin Health has provided the following important information and advice for patients, health care workers and our community. 


To ensure we can continue to provide safe, high quality emergency care to our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, from Monday, 27 April Austin Health will be changing the access to our Emergency Department (ED) to minimise the risks related to COVID-19.

Key messages for your staff, patients and community

  • The main arrival point will still be the current Emergency entrance on Burgundy Street.
  • Once patients arrive, there will be different processes in place to ensure we minimise any potential risks related to COVID-19. Austin Health’s focus is on the safety, health and wellbeing of our staff and community, while ensuring patients can continue to access safe and high quality emergency care.
  • Key changes will be outlined on the Austin Health website – – and we will also share information through social media and local media outlets.
  • The key change will be the use of an external ED triage to screen patients prior to entering the hospital. The key messages for the general public include:
    • Traffic management staff will be in place at the entrance to assist and direct you to the public drop off area.
    • You must stay in your car and wait for an ED nurse.
    • The ED nurse will ask you a few simple screening questions and then direct you where to go.
    • There will be no short-term parking at ED so you need to be prepared to drive out of the drop-off zone as soon as the nurse provides your instructions. This means:
      • For all adult patients – you will need a driver to drop you at ED. If the driver needs to come back into ED they will need to drive out to the car park, park and enter the ED following the signage/instructions within the hospital.
      • For all children and patients requiring assistance – the child/patient and their parent/carer will need a driver to drop them at ED. If the driver needs to come back into ED they will need to drive out to the car park, park and enter the ED following the signage/instructions within the hospital.
    • If you don’t have another driver available in your household you may want to consider other forms of transport such as taxi or ride share vehicles – these companies have precautions in place in relation to COVID-19 and are an option.
    • Please note: children presenting to the ED with a respiratory illness and assessed as requiring admission may need to be transferred to an alternative hospital. The ED staff will be able to assist parents/caregivers with answering any questions that arise around this process.
  • Traffic management will be in place 24/7 to assist the community with these changes.
  • These changes will take place from Monday 27 April 2020 until further notice. Austin Health will keep the community, patients and visitors updated about any changes. Questions and enquiries can be emailed to, submitted through the online form on our website, or by calling 03 9496 3566.

Please share this information with your relevant networks. With your support we can try and minimise any confusion for patients and the community accessing Austin Health ED over the next few weeks.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Austin Health. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.