The complexity, uncertainty and sometimes urgency surrounding Emergency nursing practice requires a structured approach.
When a patient first presents to the emergency department (ED), the triage nurse performs a brief assessment and allocates a triage category based on their clinical urgency.
Following triage, the allocated nurse must perform a more comprehensive assessment and commence nursing care. Previously there was no standardised validated structure to guide emergency nursing assessment and care post triage.
This has led unwarranted variation in nursing care, avoidable patient deterioration, poor pain management, poor nursing documentation, human suffering and patient dissatisfaction with emergency care.
HIRAID adddresses thse issues by providing emergency nurses with an evidence-based structured approach to emergency nursing care post triage.
The framework improves:
HIRAID was developed with experts, designed on research evidence and validated in both the simulated and clinical settings with 302 Emergency nurses in regional NSW.
The framework has been successfully piloted with nurses across rural, regional and metropolitan EDs, and is used routinely in Illawarra Shoalhaven and Southern NSW LHDs. The team has published 10 related publications in high impact scientific journals to date and currently supports one PhD candidate with a focus on implementation.
History, Identify Red flags, Assessment, Interventions, Diagnostics.
The framework encapsulates the cyclic nature of patient assessment, in which more than one element may be performed simultaneously. It also embraces the importance of reassessment and communication – vital components of emergency nursing.
Other elements within the HIRAID framework:
Reassess: The evaluation of care and monitoring of patient progress. Maintain a structured approach, repeat at appropriate intervals per condition of the patient.
Communicate: Verbal/non-verbal skills necessary to effectively communicate with patients, families and clinicians. Use structured approach for clinical handover; graded assertiveness to escalate if needed; accurate and comprehensive clinical documentation.
There are three significant outcomes associated with HIRAID determined using robust data collection and analyses.
1. 50% reduction in patient deterioration associated with care delivered in the ED [27% to 13%].
This is despite 12,000 more ED presentations, a 6.3% higher admission rate and sicker patients in the HIRAID intervention period.
Per the well validated Human Factors Classification Framework for patient safety the use of HIRAID resulted in fewer treatment delays (28.28% vs 15.07%) and failure to escalate (20.20% vs 6.85%).
2. HIRAID equivalent savings exceed the costs of implementation.
The estimated preliminary savings to ISLHD (through less deterioration) was $1,914,252 with a payback period of 75 days. Conservative projections estimated a net benefit of $1,813,760 pa by 2022-23, even when controlling for LOS, diagnosis and age.
3. Nursing documentation describing all essential assessment components increased from 5% to 80% in a random audit of 120 random paediatric and adult medical records for all presentation types.
In particular the quantity (completeness) and quality (completeness and linguistic correctness) of patient history and physical assessment per the validated D-Catch instrument.
Led by Professor Kate Curtis, Professor of Trauma and Emergency Nursing, and project managed by PhD candidate Belinda Kennedy, the HIRAID team has an impressive track record of implementing widespread change to improve patient and health service outcomes and have worked productively together in the field for over 10 years.
To effectively influence practice and policy, we've built partnerships with health care policymakers including:
HIRAID works also with health districts of Northern NSW, Southern NSW, Western Sydney, Metro-North Qld and Eastern Health Victoria.
HIRAID has been implemented across Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and Southern NSW Local Health District.
It has also been rolled out across Northern NSW Local health District and Western Sydney Local health District will follow late 2022.
Queensland and Victoria participating sites will initiate implementation late 2022/early 2023.