Time to analgesia for care delivered by nurse practitioners in the emergency department - a retrospective chart audit

Natasha Jennings, Arushi Kansal, Gerard Michael O'Reilly, Biswadev Mitra, Glenn Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate quality of care delivered to patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with pain and managed by emergency nurse practitioners by:. 1Evaluating time to analgesia from initial presentation2Evaluating time from being seen to next analgesia3Measuring pain score documentation Background: The delivery of quality care in the emergency department (ED) is emerging as one of the most important service indicators being measured by health services. Emergency nurse practitioner services are designed to improve timely, quality care for patients. One of the goals of quality emergency care is the timely and effective delivery of analgesia for patients. Timely analgesia is an important indicator of ED service performance. Methods: A retrospective explicit chart review of 128 consecutive patients with pain and managed by emergency nurse practitioners was conducted. Data collected included demographics, presenting complaint, pain scores, and time to first dose of analgesia. Patients were identified from the ED patient information system (Cerner log) and data were extracted from electronic medical records. Results: Pain scores were documented in 67 (52.3 ; 95 CI: 43.3-61.2) patients. The median time to analgesia from presentation was 60.5 (IQR 30-87) minutes, with 34 (26.6 ; 95 CI: 19.1-35.1) patients receiving analgesia within 30minutes of presentation to hospital. There were 22 (17.2 ; 95 CI: 11.1-24.9) patients who received analgesia prior to assessment by a nurse practitioner. Among patients who received analgesia after assessment by a nurse practitioner, the median time to analgesia after assessment was 25 (IQR 12-50) minutes, with 65 (61.3 ; 95 CI: 51.4-70.6) patients receiving analgesia within 30minutes of assessment. Conclusions: The majority of patients assessed by nurse practitioners received analgesia within 30minutes after assessment. However, opportunities for substantial improvement in such times along with documentation of pain scores were identified and will be targeted in future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71 - 74
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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