Treatment targets in emergency departments: nurses’ views of how they affect clinical practice
Hoyle, Louise; Grant, Aimee
Aims and objectives. To understand nurses’ views and experiences of four hour treatment targets in the emergency department and how this impacts clinical decision making throughout acute secondary care hospitals.
Background. In many countries national treatment targets in the emergency department have been introduced. However, research and a recent enquiry into poor clinical care in one hospital in the United Kingdom have highlighted that patient care may be compromised by the need to meet these targets.
Design. Qualitative descriptive study as part of a case study approach.
Methods. Semi-structured interviews with 31 nurses working in UK secondary care hospitals which had an emergency department. Nurses were purposively sampled from three specialties: emergency arenas (emergency department, n=5; medical assessment n=4 surgical receiving n=2) (n=11), surgical wards (n=11) and medical wards (n=9).
Results. Nurses in emergency arenas reported considerable burden, in terms of a very high workload and pressure from senior staff to meet the target. This had a negative impact on patient care for the majority of patients, excluding the most sick, who emergency arena nurses reported they ensured were treated appropriately, regardless of breaching treatment targets. Around half of the nurses working outside emergency arenas felt pressure and amended their work practices to enable colleagues in emergency arenas to meet treatment targets.
Conclusions. Four hour targets were not viewed as clinically helpful by the majority of nurses, some of whom questioned their appropriateness for patient care.
Hoyle, L., & Grant, A. (2015). Treatment targets in emergency departments: nurses’ views of how they affect clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(15-16), 2211-2218. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.12835
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Feb 1, 2015|
|Online Publication Date||Apr 7, 2015|
|Deposit Date||Apr 28, 2015|
|Publicly Available Date||Apr 28, 2015|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Nursing|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||General Nursing; General Medicine|
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