Following the introduction of a new nurse-led telephone referral service to a dedicated paediatric emergency assessment unit (PEAU), a study was conducted to determine the views of general practitioners (GPs) who use the service. The PEAU operates between 10 am and 10 pm on weekdays and between 10 am and 6 pm at weekends. The unit has four beds and treatment and stabilization areas, plus associated services in a dedicated area of a regional child health unit. The design utilized a faxed questionnaire over a 1-month period to all consenting GPs using the PEAU with a postal questionnaire follow-up. Non-parametric Likert scores and qualitative data were used to determine levels of satisfaction with the service and the subsequent management of the referred children. Sixty-nine GPs referred 80 children to the PEAU via the service over a period of 1 month. All consented to participate and were sent a faxed questionnaire, which generated 39 (57%) responses. A follow-up questionnaire sent to the 39 respondents achieved a return of 25 (64%) responses. Thirty-four GPs agreed that referral via the dedicated nurse service was easier than the previous senior house officer referral system. Of the 25 GP respondents to the follow-up postal survey, the majority (17) agreed that the follow-up morning after discharge telephone call to parents by the PEAU nurses was helpful. Four GPs indicated that the 24-hour open access system, offered by the nursing staff, in which a parent may attend PEAU with a discharged child causing concern without a previous appointment, does not always work. This study has shown that a nurse-led telephone referral system to a PEAU for GPs and the subsequent management of the children has been favourably received.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surprisingly little is known about the most efficient organization of admissions to an emergency hospital. It is important to know, who should be in front when the GP requests an acute admission. The aim of the study was to analyse how experienced ED nurses perform when assessing requests for admissions, compared with hospital physicians.
Before- and after ED nurse assessment study, in which two cohorts of patients were followed from the time of request for admission until one month later. The first cohort of patients was included by the physicians on duty in October 2008. The admitting physicians were employed in the one of the specialized departments and only received request for admission within their speciality. The second cohort of patients was included by the ED in May 2009. They received all request from the GPs for admission, independent of the speciality in question.
A total of 944 requests for admission were recorded. There was a non-significant trend towards the nurses admitting a smaller fraction of patients than the physicians (68 versus 74%). While the nurses almost never rejected an admission, the physicians did this in 7% of the requests. The nurses redirected 8% of the patients to another hospital, significantly more than the physicians with only 1%. (p < 0.0001). The nurses referred significantly more patients to the correct hospital than the doctors (78% vs. 70% p: 0.03). There were no differences in the frequency of unnecessary admissions between the groups. The self-reported use of time for assessment was twice as long for the physicians as for the nurses. (p < 0.0001).
We found no differences in the frequency of admitted patients or unnecessary admissions, but the nurses redirected significantly more patients to the right hospital according to the catchment area, and used only half the time for the assessment. We find, that nurses, trained for the assignment, are able to handle referrals for emergency admissions, but also advise the subject to be explored in further studies including other assessment models and GP satisfaction.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 08/2011; 19:47. DOI:10.1186/1757-7241-19-47 · 2.03 Impact Factor
"There has been little exploration of views from Primary Care of these alternatives to hospital inpatient units. The only study identified is a postal questionnaire of the views of GPs in Northern Ireland on a RAOU set up in 1996. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid Access Outpatient Units (RAOUs) have been suggested as an alternative to hospital inpatient units for the management of some acutely unwell children. These units can provide ambulatory care, delivered close to home, and may prevent unnecessary hospital admission. There are no qualitative data on the views of primary care practitioners regarding these types of facilities. The aim of the study was to explore the opinions of primary care practitioners regarding a newly established RAOU.
The RAOU was established locally at a district general hospital when inpatient beds were closed and moved to an inpatient centre, based six miles away at the tertiary teaching hospital.Qualitative, practice based group interviews with primary care practitioners (general practitioners (GPs), nurse practitioners and practice nurses) on their experiences of the RAOU. The data collection consisted of three practice based interviews with 14 participants. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic content analysis was used to evaluate the data.
There was positive feedback regarding ease of telephone access for referral, location, and the value of a service staffed by senior doctors where children could be observed, investigated and discharged quickly. There was confusion regarding the referral criteria for the assessment unit and where to send certain children. A majority of the practitioners felt the utility of the RAOU was restricted by its opening hours. Most participants felt they lacked sufficient information regarding the remit and facilities of the unit and this led to some uneasiness regarding safety and long term sustainability.
Practitioners considered that the RAOU offered a rapid senior opinion, flexible short term observation, quick access to investigations and was more convenient for patients. There were concerns regarding opening hours, safety of patients and lack of information about the unit's facilities. There was confusion about which children should be sent to the unit. This study raises questions regarding policy in regard to the organisation of paediatric services. It highlights that when establishing alternative services to local inpatient units, continual communication and engagement of primary care is essential if the units are to function effectively.
BMC Family Practice 02/2008; 9(1):54. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-9-54 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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