Browsing Augusta University Research Data Management Symposium by Authors
Time Cost of Standard Nursing ScreensMigdal, Victoria; Harper, Katie; Haqqani, Nazish; Janiak, Bruce; Department of Emergency MedicinePurpose: To determine the time to obtain answers to five-preselected ED nursing triage/assessment questions and convert this time to the monetary cost to the emergency department. Methods: A prospective observational study of ED Registered Nurses performing triage assessments on 200 adults presenting to the ED for medical care. During the triage assessment, the nurse was timed by one of the study authors while the RN asked five pre-selected questions included in their current triage protocol. The time cost of each question was determined by multiplying the time spent asking the question each year by the average hourly wage of our ED RNs. (T x V x S)/3600; where T= average time per question (in seconds), V=annual patient volume, S=average hourly RN wage Results: A total of 200 triage assessments were observed. During these assessments, 130 patients were asked about pneumococcal vaccine status, 161 asked about tetanus vaccine status, 184 asked about medication allergies, 172 about influenza vaccine, and 73 about recent travel. The average time spent per question ranged from 4.4-6.3 seconds. The estimated annual time used to ask these 5 questions in the AUMC ED is 633.98 hrs, which equates to $22189.3 in nursing costs per year. Conclusions: This is a cursory look at the potential monetary and time costs of standardized screening questions in the ED. These values directly affect time and cost efficiency in the ED process and could potentially be redirected to more pertinent patient care. The required screening questions are often unrelated to the patient’s chief complaint and have no impact on the medical management in the ED. Further studies are needed to determine cost effectiveness of required ED screenings.