The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1995 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

OXYGEN UTILIZATION PROTOCOL PROJECT: RESULTS OF PILOT STUDY

Marcia Roberts Graves RCP, CRTT, Cardio Respiratory Neurodiagnostic services, Barris Methodist Fort Worth, Fort Worth Texas.

Introduction: During the months of August, September, & October 1994, we implemented an Oxygen Protocol pilot study on 3 different units in our hospital. The purpose was to implement oxygen on patients who presented with clinical need by utilizing the physician approved protocol to increase patient care outcomes. The study's team developed the protocol, (see figure) using the current hospital policy and procedure and nursing clinical practice guidelines as supporting documents. Meetings were held with physicians from Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Pulmonology, and ENT to inform them of the key components of the pilot program. All nursing staff from those 3 pilot units and all Respiratory Therapists were trained to implement protocol.

Methods: All patients started on oxygen therapy were monitored daily for documentation of protocol or non- protocol use. A quality indicator was established to report monthly totals. Evaluation: Of 375 new start oxygens, 45 or 12Z of new starts received during the pilot program were for Oxygen Protocol. This allowed the patient care provider the ability to initiate the approved protocol if indicated. Along with this, the continuing quality indicator reports that had shown unfavorable outcomes dropped to zero from the previous 43 in quarter 1, 18 in quarter 2, and 19 in quarter 3, thus patient outcomes were markedly improved. Physicians supported protocol implementation and during the pilot program no protocols initiated were diagreed with by the physician nor restarted if discontinued by protocol. It is apparent that professionalism of the RM & RT was enhanced without compromising the ulti?ate decision making responsibility of the physician.

SEE ORIGINAL IMAGF

Conclution: The use of the Oxygen Initiation Protocol is an acceptable method of administering oxygen to the patient in need. RTs & RNs at our hospital are able to implement the protocol that ultimetly results in improved patient outcomes. Approval has been extended from the Kxecutive Committee of the Medical staff to implement housewide. Also, medical staff was so impressed that the protocol was also approved for implementation at 2 sister hospitals in the Harris system.

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