Study findings showed that nurse-driven protocols decreased the median time to administer acetaminophen to ER patients with pain or fever by more than 3 hours. The average time to troponin testing for emergency patients with chest pain was also reduced by 79 minutes. The average length of stay was reduced by nearly 4 hours by implementing a nurse-driven fractured hip protocol. Length of stay for vaginal bleeding during pregnancy was reduced by nearly 4 hours.
"Given the long waits many emergency patients endure prior to treatment of pain, the acetaminophen protocol was a quick win," said Mr. Douma. "That said, nurse-driven protocols are not an ideal solution, but a stop-gap measure to deal with the enormous problem of long wait times in emergency departments especially for patients with complex problems. Emergency department crowding will continue to require broad and creative strategies to ensure timely care to our patients."
Source: American College of Emergency Physicians
Image Credit: American College of Emergency Physicians