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Emerg Med Australas. 2011 Dec;23(6):726-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2011.01479.x. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

Impact of technical assistants for venepuncture and intravenous cannulation on overall emergency department performance.

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  • 1Emergency Department, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. dinh.mm@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the article was to determine the effect of a technical assistant for venepuncture and i.v. cannulation on triage performance and patient length of stay in an ED.

METHODS:

An observational study of daily ED performance was conducted at an inner city tertiary referral ED. Over a period of 158 consecutive days, data on triage performance and average length of stay were collected. A technical assistant was employed for 8-10 h per day to perform venepuncture, i.v. cannulation and electronic order entry. Study groups compared were days staffed by a technical assistant and days that were not staffed.

RESULTS:

Days staffed by a technical assistant were associated with significantly higher triage performance for triage category three (mean 0.66, 95% CI 0.63-0.69 vs 0.58, 95% CI 0.54-0.62; P=0.003) and lower average length of stay per patient for triage category two patients (mean length of stay 390 min, 95% CI 369-411 vs 425 min, 95% CI 399-451; P=0.04). Triage performance thresholds for triage category three (75% of patients seen within 30 min) were met over twice as often on staffed days compared with control (39/96 [38%]vs 10/62 [16%], P=0.004).

CONCLUSION:

Staffing the ED with a technical assistant was associated with improved ED performance for triage category three and average length of stay for triage category two patients.

© 2011 The Authors. EMA © 2011 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine.

PMID:
22151671
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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