The emergency department (ED) is a unique setting where physicians are under pressure to see patients, make clinical decisions and determine patient disposition as efficiently as possible. As a means of accommodating this, the physician toolkit was implemented in the ED at Capital District Health Authority (CDHA) in 2011.

The toolkit is an easily accessible electronic resource found on the CDHA intranet. The toolkit contains documents that are useful for all staff; but are mainly used by physicians in the ED. The resource contains CDHA specific protocols, policies and procedures, important contact numbers and algorithms commonly used on a day to day basis in the ED. These documents essentially provide physicians with local multidisciplinary care plans for patients who visit the ED. The toolkit can be accessed at any Capital Health computer, providing staff with quick access to the important and useful information. As patients with different diagnoses present to the ED, the information in the toolbox is updated appropriately.

The goal of the tool is to provide staff with standard information in one single location, thereby improving efficiency in the provision of safe patient care. The toolkit decreases frustration among staff as they search for information that is required to treat, consult or discharge a patient. In a survey that was distributed to the ED physicians, it was revealed that 100% of the staff are aware and using the toolkit. It was also found that 100% of the staff believes this resource is contributing to better patient flow and outcomes. It is evident after completing the questionnaire with the ED staff that they are finding the tool effective and believe that it is aiding in providing more efficient care for patients.

Physicians are now able to provide more timely care and spend more one on one time with the patient than previously, as they are able to locate pertinent tools at the touch of a button.

Contact Information:

Title: Chief, Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre

Contact information: Samuel.Campbell@cdha.nshealth.ca

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