The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE IMPACT OF A NURSING DRIVEN INTERDISCIPLINARY SCREENING TOOL IN IDENTIFYING THE NEED FOR A RESPIRATORY CARE CONSULT

Craig Leonard, MA, RRT, Brian L. Smith, RRT, Sandra Gaynor, DNSC, RN, William T. Peruzzi, MD, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois

Introduction: Inadvertent omission of therapeutic respiratory care services can occur when patients are admitted to the hospital for the primary treatment(s) of non-respiratory related conditions and an underlying pulmonary condition exists. The traditional patient admission process performed by nursing may not be sufficient to identify all patient conditions that would require respiratory care intervention. Through a multidisciplinary task force, a Patient Profile Form (PPF) was established to be used by nursing upon patient admission to identify significant respiratory issues and trigger an appropriate respiratory care consult. We postulated that the incorporation of the PPF into the admitting process for patient screening should result in a more sensitive tool to identify potentially significant respiratory conditions that require therapeutic intervention by the respiratory therapist.

Methods:
An interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals including respiratory care investigated possible solutions for improving the effectiveness of admission screening practices for patients at our institution. Each discipline identified important patient conditions that would trigger the need for a consult from their respective service(s). A section on the PPF was created for each discipline, which highlighted clinical conditions that would require a consult evaluation. The PPF is required to be completed by the admitting nurse for all patient admissions to the hospital

Results:
During the initial trial period of the PPF, there were 77 request for respiratory care consults. 6 (7.8%) out of the 77 consult requests resulted from triggers for respiratory therapy highlighted on the PPF. 2 (2.6%) of the 6 consults initiated from the PPF resulted in additional respiratory care intervention. The remaining 4 consults recommended that further or additional respiratory care was not necessary.

Conclusions:
We conclude that the PPF is a valuable screening tool to decrease hospital errors through omission by identifying underlying pulmonary conditions that may be overlooked upon routine admission into the hospital.

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