Emergency Department Crowding and Time at the Bedside: A Wearable Technology Feasibility Study.

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION:ED crowding is a public health crisis, limiting quality and access to lifesaving care. The purpose of this study was to (1) evaluate the feasibility of radio-frequency identification tags to measure clinician-patient contact and (2) to test the relationship between ED occupancy and clinician-patient contact time. METHODS:In this 4-week observational study, radio-frequency identification tags were worn by emergency clinicians in a 21-bay urban teaching hospital emergency department. The time-motion data were merged with electronic medical repository patient information (N = 3,237) to adjust for occupancy, age, gender, and acuity. Qualitative themes were generated from focus group (N = 39) debriefings of the quantitative results. RESULTS:Data were collected on 56,342 total clinician events. Adjusting for patient age, increasing ED occupancy increased the number of times the attending physician entered and left the patient room (b = 0 .008, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.001-0.016], P = 0.03). There was no relationship for patient gender, triage acuity, shift at arrival, disposition to home, or discharge diagnosis category with either total minutes or number of encounters per patient visit. No time-motion and occupancy associations were observed for nurses, residents, or nurse practitioners/physician assistants. Debriefings indicated occupancy influenced the quality of care, despite maintaining the same quantity of contact time. DISCUSSION:The physical environment and clinician privacy concerns limit the feasibility of wearable tracking technology in the emergency setting. Attending physician care becomes more fragmented with increasing ED occupancy. Other clinicians report changes in the quality of care, whereas the quantity of time and encounters were unchanged with occupancy rates.

journal_name

J Emerg Nurs

authors

Castner J,Suffoletto H

doi

10.1016/j.jen.2018.03.005

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2018-11-01 00:00:00

pages

624-631.e2

issue

6

eissn

0099-1767

issn

1527-2966

pii

S0099-1767(17)30680-3

journal_volume

44

pub_type

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