Providing continuing education to support a change in practice for a busy Emergency Department poses a challenge. Factors such as shift work, high patient acuity, and unpredictable patient flow create barriers to traditional methods of delivery of a comprehensive educational experience. This article describes an experience with introducing a change in practice using an innovative Web-based delivery plan. Specific strategies were employed to address presentation of content, application of knowledge, establishment of a shared understanding, and enhancement of communication opportunities. The Web-based learning environment proved to be a successful means of providing nurses with a collaborative learning experience around a new practice issue. This experience also highlighted the need for a new skill set for learners and educators using online learning technologies.
To achieve our goal of excellent emergency cardiac care, our institution embarked on a Lean process improvement initiative. We sought to examine and quantify the outcome of this project on the care of suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients in our emergency department (ED).
Front-line ED staff participated in several rapid improvement events, using Lean principles and techniques such as waste elimination, supply chain streamlining, and standard work to increase the value of the early care provided to patients with suspected ACS. A chart review was also conducted. To evaluate our success, proportions of care milestones (first electrocardiogram [ECG], ECG interpretation, physician assessment, and acetylsalicylic acid [ASA] administration) meeting target times were chosen as outcome metrics in this before-and-after study.
The proportion of cases with 12-lead ECGs completed within 10 minutes of patient triage increased by 37.4% (p
In recognition of patient wait times, and deteriorating patient and staff satisfaction, we set out to improve these measures in our emergency department (ED) without adding any new funding or beds.
In 2005 all staff in the ED at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital began a transformation, employing Toyota Lean manufacturing principles to improve ED wait times and quality of care. Lean techniques such as value-stream mapping, just-in-time delivery techniques, workplace organization, reduction of systemic wastes, use of the worker as the source of quality improvement and ongoing refinement of our process steps formed the basis of our project.
Our ED has achieved major improvements in departmental flow without adding any additional ED or inpatient beds. The mean registration to physician time has decreased from 111 minutes to 78 minutes. The number of patients who left without being seen has decreased from 7.1% to 4.3%. The length of stay (LOS) for discharged patients has decreased from a mean of 3.6 to 2.8 hours, with the largest decrease seen in our patients triaged at levels 4 or 5 using the Canadian Emergency Department Triage and Acuity Scale. We noted an improvement in ED patient satisfaction scores following the implementation of Lean principles.
Lean manufacturing principles can improve the flow of patients through the ED, resulting in greater patient satisfaction along with reduced time spent by the patient in the ED.
The validity of using adult physiologic criteria to triage injured children in the out-of-hospital setting remains unproven. Among children meeting adult field physiologic criteria, we assessed the availability of physiologic information, the incidence of death or prolonged hospitalization, and whether age-specific criteria would improve the specificity of the physiologic triage step.
We analyzed a prospective, out-of-hospital cohort of injured children aged 29 breaths/min, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score 2 days. The decision tree was derived and validated using binary recursive partitioning.
Nine hundred fifty-five children were included in the analysis, of whom 62 (6.5%) died and 117 (12.3%) were hospitalized > 2 days. Missing values were common, ranging from 6% (respiratory rate) to 53% (pulse oximetry), and were associated with younger age and high-risk outcome. The final decision rule included four variables (assisted ventilation, GCS score 96 mmHg), which demonstrated improved specificity (71.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 66.7-76.6%]) at the expense of missing high-risk children (sensitivity 76.5% [95% CI 66.4-86.6%]).
The incidence of high-risk injured children meeting adult physiologic criteria is relatively low and the findings from this sample do not support using age-specific values to better identify such children. However, the amount and pattern of missing data may compromise the value and practical use of field physiologic information in pediatric triage.
AIM: To evaluate a telephone nurse triage model in terms of appropriateness of referrals to the appropriate level of care, patient's compliance with given advice and costs. BACKGROUND: A key concern in each telephonic consultation is to evaluate if appropriate. METHOD: An evaluative design in primary health care with consecutive patients (N = 362) calling telephone nurse triage between November 2002 and February 2003. RESULTS: The advice was considered adequate in 325 (97.6%) cases. The patients' compliance with self-care was 81.3%, to primary health care 91.1% and to Accident and Emergency department 100%. The nurses referred self-care cases (64.7%) and Accident and Emergency cases (29.6%) from a less adequate to an appropriate level of care. The cost saving per call leading to a recommendation of self-care was euro 70.3, to primary health care euro 24.3 and to Accident and Emergency department euro 22.2. CONCLUSIONS: The telephone nurse triage model showed adequate guidance for the patients concerning level of care and released resources for the benefit of both patients and the health care system.
Efficient management of major incidents involves triage, treatment and transport. In the absence of a standardised interdisciplinary major incident management approach, the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation developed Interdisciplinary Emergency Service Cooperation Course (TAS). The TAS-program was established in 1998 and by 2009, approximately 15 500 emergency service professionals have participated in one of more than 500 no-cost courses. The TAS-triage concept is based on the established triage Sieve and Paediatric Triage Tape models but modified with slap-wrap reflective triage tags and paediatric triage stretchers. We evaluated the feasibility and accuracy of the TAS-triage concept in full-scale simulated major incidents.
The learners participated in two standardised bus crash simulations: without and with competence of TAS-triage and access to TAS-triage equipment. The instructors calculated triage accuracy and measured time consumption while the learners participated in a self-reported before-after study. Each question was scored on a 7-point Likert scale with points labelled "Did not work" (1) through "Worked excellent" (7).
Among the 93 (85%) participating emergency service professionals, 48% confirmed the existence of a major incident triage system in their service, whereas 27% had access to triage tags. The simulations without TAS-triage resulted in a mean over- and undertriage of 12%. When TAS-Triage was used, no mistriage was found. The average time from "scene secured to all patients triaged" was 22 minutes (range 15-32) without TAS-triage vs. 10 minutes (range 5-21) with TAS-triage. The participants replied to "How did interdisciplinary cooperation of triage work?" with mean 4,9 (95% CI 4,7-5,2) before the course vs. mean 5,8 (95% CI 5,6-6,0) after the course, p
Emergency medical care for seriously injured patients in war or warlike situations is highly important when it comes to soldiers' survival and morale. The Swedish Armed Forces sends nurses, who have limited experience of caring for injured personnel in the field, on a variety of international missions. The aim of this investigation was to identify the kind of criteria nurses rely on when assessing acute trauma and what factors are affecting the emergency care of injured soldiers. A phenomenographic research approach based on interviews was used. The database for the study consists of twelve nurses who served in Bosnia in 1994-1996. The criteria nurses rely on, when assessing acute trauma in emergency care, could be described in terms of domain-specific criteria such as a physiological, an anatomical, a causal and a holistic approach as well as contextual criteria such as being able to communicate, having a sense of belonging, the military environment, the conscript medical orderly and familiarity with health-caring activity. The present study shows that the specific contextual factors affecting emergency care in the field must also be practised before the nurse faces military emergency care situations. This calls for realistic exercises and training programs, where experience from civilian emergency care is interwoven with the knowledge specific to military medical care.