Ambulatory Care Quarterly

Resource drive for ED nurses saves $12,000

Wouldn’t you love for emergency department (ED) nurses to have a quick, easy way to access department policies, updates, drip charts, dosing protocols, telephone numbers, and procedures for infrequent ordering processes?

"Access to many tidbits of information that ED nurses and staff members need to memorize and quickly access remains a constant challenge for me," says Sharon Wysocki, RN, MS, clinical specialist for the ED at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL.

To address this, a computerized resource drive was created that can be accessed by all ED staff. "There is now one easy location for the multitude of information we receive," she reports. "This has contributed greatly to the organization and management of information."

While the ED leadership has "write-ability" access, most staff have "read-only" access, Wysocki explains. She estimates that nurses are able to care for patients an additional hour each day that otherwise would be spent looking up information, saving the ED a minimum of $12,000 each year.

  • Information contained in the drive includes:
  • Instructions for ordering infrequent lab tests and equipment.
  • Information on severe acute respiratory syndrome from the facility’s infection control department.
  • Updates on monkeypox, a rare illness that causes rash, chills, and fever.
  • Hazardous material procedures.
  • ED standing medication protocols, standing orders, and assessment protocol.
  • Education tracking file containing expiration dates for certifications of ED nurses, including Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum, Crisis Prevention Institute training, advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. "This is a great help, as nurses can easily access this drive to verify their expiration dates," Cohen says.
  • Listing of the facility’s trauma categorization criteria.

Nurses appreciate having easy access to the enormous amount of information they need to reference, says Wysocki. For example, for infrequent procedures such as initiating patient-controlled analgesia, the ED nurse can quickly access information on the ordering process.

Recently, when a patient arrived stating he was exposed to monkeypox, the ED nurse and physician used the drive to determine what to order and what type of isolation precautions were needed.

"We are constantly making additions and updates to our resource drive," Wysocki says. "My challenge remains to keep it simple and user-friendly. It is not intended to be a duplication of the entire department policy and procedure manuals."

Since information is located in one convenient place for all staff to access, this eliminates various additional policy books, reference material, and the need to manually update all of the pages in these references, even when simple changes occur, Wysocki says.

Getting updates to the staff without making numerous copies of everything and distributing to their mailboxes, she says, saves time and money.

"Staff are always complaining there is too much paperwork and too much to read," adds Wysocki.

For more information, contact:

  • Sharon Wysocki, RN, MS, Clinical Specialist, Emergency Department, Northwest Community Hospital, 800 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005. Telephone: (847) 618-1000, ext. 4063. Fax: (847) 614-4098. E-mail: SWysocki@NCH.ORG.