Does electronic medical record redesign increase screening of risk for pressure injury, falls and substance use in the Emergency Department? An implementation evaluation

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Australasian Emergency Care


Background: Following the provision of urgent care, screening for risks known to impact patient outcomes is an extension of safe emergency nursing care, in particular for falls, pressure injury and substance use. Screening is a process that primarily aims to identify people at increased risk for specific complications. This study aimed to describe and evaluate the implementation of a consolidated electronic checklist on the screening completion rates for falls, pressure injury and substance use in a regional health district. Methods: This pre-post study used emergency data from four Emergency Departments (EDs) in southern NSW, Australia between November 2016 and February 2019. Patient characteristics, triage category, discharge diagnosis, arrival date and time, screening completion date and time and treatment location were extracted. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the characteristics of the presentations. Z test with adjusted p-values using Bonferroni Correction method was used to compare the characteristics of the presentations and the rates of screening completion. The Theoretical Domains Framework was used to identify any deficits in the implementation. Results: There were 33,561 patients in the pre and 35,807 in the post group. There were no differences in patient characteristics between the two groups. The mean emergency department (ED) length of stay was unchanged (490.5 min pre vs 489.9 min post). The proportion of patients who had all three screens completed increased from 1.3% to 5.5% (p < 0.001). Pressure injury risk screening increased from 46.6% (pre) to 53.1% (post) (p < 0.001) as did substance use screening (1.7% vs 12.4%, p < 0.001). Screening was strongly associated to which hospital the patient was admitted, their age and ED length of stay. Of the 51 mapped intervention functions, 20 (39%) were used in the implementation. Conclusions: The introduction of a consolidated electronic checklist for use by emergency nurses to complete fall, pressure injury and substance use screening resulted in an overall increase in risk screening. However screening rates remained poor. Implementation that considers the capability, opportunity and motivation of those that need to alter their behaviour would likely improve the overall compliance.

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