The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1999 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF MOVING THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT FARTHER FROM THE ABG LABORATORY ON THE TIME REQUIRED TO DRAW AND REPORT THE RESULTS OF ARTERIAL BLOOD GASES

Susan G. Barnett RRT, BSRC, United Regional Health Care System and William C. Burke PhD, RRT, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas

BACKGROUND As with most, if not all, acute care hospitals, United Regional Health Care System has undergone numerous structural additions and remodeling. In early 1997 plans were released concerning the movement of the Emergency Department (ED) of the Eleventh Street campus. Emergency Department physicians were concerned that moving the ED further from the ABG Laboratory would cause an increase in the time required to report the results of ABGs. We investigated the effects of moving the ED on the time required to report arterial blood gas results drawn from patients in the ED. It is the responsibility of Respiratory Care to draw, run, and report all blood gases in the ED. METHODS To investigate this move we compared the time elapsed from the ?ordered? time to the ?resulted? time before and after the ED moved locations. This was a retrospective study. We compared the average elapsed time one-month prior to the move to the elapsed time one-month after the move. We also investigated the staff ?workloads? during the same times to control for possible differing workloads. Before and after results were analyzed with the Student's t-test. P<0.05 determined statistical significance. RESULTS The elapsed time before and after the move were 32.6±51.4 and 28.6±44.4 minutes respectively (mean±SD, n=41 before and n=63 after). There was no difference between the elapsed times before and after the move (p=0.7116). The total respiratory workloads before and after the move were 234.4±40.4 and 239.3±40.5 units respectively for the corresponding months. There was no difference between the workloads before and after the move (p=0.6348). EXPERIENCE Prior to the move there was some physician and staff concern regarding possible negative effects of increase elapsed time on patient care. No complaints have been reported since the move. CONCLUSIONS We found that there were no data to indicate that elapsed times had suffered as a result of change in location of the ED. No additional changes in ED blood gas procedures were necessary. This study was completed as part of the BSRC degree requirements at Midwestern State University.

OF-99-122

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