Access block and ED overcrowding.
ABSTRACT Prospective and retrospective access block hospital intervention studies from 1998 to 2008 were reviewed to assess the evidence for interventions around access block and ED overcrowding, including over 220 documents reported in Medline and data extracted from The State of our Public Hospitals Reports. There is an estimated 20-30% increased mortality rate due to access block and ED overcrowding. The main causes are major increases in hospital admissions and ED presentations, with almost no increase in the capacity of hospitals to meet this demand. The rate of available beds in Australia reduced from 2.6 beds per 1000 (1998-1999) to 2.4 beds per 1000 (2002-2007) in 2002, and has remained steady at between 2.5-2.6 beds per 1000. In the same period, the number of ED visits increased over 77% from 3.8 million to 6.74 million. Similarly, the number of public hospital admissions increased at an average rate of 3.4% per year from 3.7 to 4.7 million. Compared with 1998-1999 rates, the number of available beds in 2006-2007 is thus similar (2.65 vs 2.6 beds per 1000), but the number of ED presentations has almost doubled. All patient groups are affected by access block. Access block interventions may temporarily reduce some of the symptoms of access block, but many measures are not sustainable. The root cause of the problem will remain unless hospital capacity is addressed in an integrated approach at both national and state levels.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate emergency nurse practitioner service effectiveness on outcomes related to quality of care and service responsiveness. Increasing service pressures in the emergency setting have resulted in the adoption of service innovation models; the most common and rapidly expanding of these is the emergency nurse practitioner. The delivery of high quality patient care in the emergency department is one of the most important service indicators to be measured in health services today. The rapid uptake of emergency nurse practitioner service in Australia has outpaced the capacity to evaluate this model in outcomes related to safety and quality of patient care. Pragmatic randomized controlled trial at one site with 260 participants. This protocol describes a definitive prospective randomized controlled trial, which will examine the impact of emergency nurse practitioner service on key patient care and service indicators. The study control will be standard emergency department care. The intervention will be emergency nurse practitioner service. The primary outcome measure is pain score reduction and time to analgesia. Secondary outcome measures are waiting time, number of patients who did not wait, length of stay in the emergency department and representations within 48 hours. Scant research enquiry evaluating emergency nurse practitioner service on patient effectiveness and service responsiveness exists currently. This study is a unique trial that will test the effectiveness of the emergency nurse practitioner service on patients who present to the emergency department with pain. The research will provide an opportunity to further evaluate emergency nurse practitioner models of care and build research capacity into the workforce.Journal of Advanced Nursing 03/2014; · 1.69 Impact Factor
Article: NEAT in need of a sweet spot.Emergency medicine Australasia: EMA 06/2014; 26(3):217-8. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The study aims to evaluate the effect of adding a stream for complex, ambulatory patients in an ED. The setting was an ED in a principal referral hospital in New South Wales, Australia. In 2011, a new stream was added to the pre-existing acute care (high complexity patients) and fast track (low complexity patients) streams. Space in acute care was set aside for the purpose of assessing patients who would previously have been assigned to acute care and who were capable of sitting in a chair with limited nursing care. The stream was separately resourced with staff redeployed from acute care. Early involvement of an emergency physician was a core characteristic of the process. Two 13 week periods before and after the intervention were compared. Presentations increased by 8.2%. Forty-three per cent of patients were triaged to the new stream. The median ED length of stay fell from 327 (interquartile range [IQR] 192-527) min to 267 (IQR 163-412) min (P < 0.001), the average daily occupancy of the department fell from 38.1 patients to 34.9 patients (95% confidence interval [CI] for difference 1.6-4.8, P < 0.001) and the proportion of patients who did not wait to be seen fell from 12% to 5.6% (95% CI for difference 5.8-7.1, P < 0.001). The use of an appropriately resourced stream directed towards seeing a complex group of patients who do not require ongoing nursing care and who are capable of sitting in a chair improved departmental flow.Emergency medicine Australasia: EMA 04/2014; 26(2):164-9. · 0.99 Impact Factor