• An assessment tool for acutely ill medical patients.

      Gleeson, Margaret; Kellett, John; Cowan, Mairead; Casey, Marie; Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland. (2012-01-26)
      This article reports the implementation and impact of a standardized systematic evidence-based predictive score for the initial assessment of acutely ill medical patients. The Simple Clinical Score (SCS) was introduced in the A&E department and the medical floor of the authors' hospital between June 2007 and July 2008. The SCS was well received by the staff - 67% felt it greatly improved patient assessment and was very valuable for ensuring appropriate placement of the patient after admission and improved the quality of care. This article describes the change process, the pilot evaluation and the training programme undertaken during the implementation of the SCS. It is hoped that this experience will be of value to other project teams who are undertaking similar initiatives.
    • READS: the rapid electronic assessment documentation system.

      Hickey, Ann; Gleeson, Margaret; Kellett, John; Nenagh Hospital, Nenagh, Ireland. (2012-12-13)
      Patient documentation is time consuming and can detract from care. The authors report a novel computer programme that manipulates routinely collected information to quantify nursing workload, along with the reason for admission, functional status, estimates of in-hospital mortality and life expectancy. The programme stores information in a database, and produces a print-out in a situation/background/assessment/recommendation (SBAR) format. The average time taken to enter 629 patient encounters was 6.6 minutes. Pain was the most common presentation for low workload patients, while high workload patients often presented with altered mental status and reduced mobility. There was only a modest correlation between the risk of death and nursing workload. The programme measures nursing workload without further paperwork, and improves routine documentation with a legible brief report that is automatically generated. This report can be shared and provides data that is immediately available for day-to-day care, audit, quality control and service planning.