Emergency nurse practitioner care and emergency department patient flow: Case–control study

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Abstract

Objective

The present study aimed to compare ED waiting times (for medical assessment and treatment), treatment times and length of stay (LOS) for patients managed by an emergency nurse practitioner candidate (ENPC) with patients managed via traditional ED care.

Methods

A case–control design was used. Patients were selected using the three most common ED discharge diagnoses for ENPC managed patients: hand/wrist wounds, hand/wrist fractures and removal of plaster of Paris. The ENPC group (n = 102) consisted of patients managed by the ENPC who had ED discharge diagnoses as mentioned above. The control group (n = 623) consisted of patients with the same ED discharge diagnoses who were managed via traditional ED care.

Results

There were no significant differences in median waiting times, treatment times and ED LOS between ENPC managed patients and patients managed via traditional ED processes. There appeared to be some variability between diagnostic subgroups in terms of treatment times and ED LOS.

Conclusion

Patient flow outcomes for ENPC managed patients are comparable with those of patients managed via usual ED processes.

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