'Hands-on' assessment: a useful strategy for improving patient safety in emergency departments

Jones, Angela, Johnstone, Megan-Jane and Duke, Maxine 2015, 'Hands-on' assessment: a useful strategy for improving patient safety in emergency departments, Australasian emergency nursing journal, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 212-217, doi: 10.1016/j.aenj.2015.07.002.

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Title 'Hands-on' assessment: a useful strategy for improving patient safety in emergency departments
Author(s) Jones, Angela
Johnstone, Megan-Jane
Duke, MaxineORCID iD for Duke, Maxine orcid.org/0000-0003-1567-3956
Journal name Australasian emergency nursing journal
Volume number 18
Issue number 4
Start page 212
End page 217
Total pages 6
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-08-20
ISSN 1574-6267
Keyword(s) Continuity of patient care
Hospital emergency service
Nursing assessment
Patient safety
Summary BACKGROUND: Patient assessment is an essential nursing intervention that reduces the incidence and impact of errors and preventable adverse events in emergency departments (EDs). This paper reports on a key finding of the ED nurse component of a larger study investigating how registered nurses manage 'discontinuities' or 'gaps' in patient care. METHODS: The larger study was undertaken as a naturalistic inquiry using a qualitative exploratory descriptive approach. Data were collected from a criterion-based purposeful sample of 71 nurses, of which 19 were ED nurses, and analysed using content and thematic analysis strategies. RESULTS: The component of the study reported here revealed that ED nurses used 'hands-on', head-to-toe assessment to manage gaps in patient care. Examination of the data revealed three key dimensions of patient assessment in the ED: (i) assessment is the 'bread and butter' of emergency nursing; (ii) 'hands-on' assessment techniques are irreplaceable and, (iii) patient assessment is undervalued in EDs. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study reaffirm the role of 'hands-on' observation and assessment in creating safety in EDs. Further research and inquiry is needed to determine how health care systems can provide the conditions for ensuring that 'hands-on' assessment occurs.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.aenj.2015.07.002
Field of Research 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077027

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