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A protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial evaluating outcomes of emergency nurse practitioner service

Authors

  • Natasha Jennings MN CCC (Emerg) RN,

    PhD Candidate, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Corresponding author
    1. Queensland University of Technology, Institute for Health & Biomedical Innovation, Queensland, Australia
    2. The Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
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    • [Correction added on 01 September 2014, after first online publication: The University was previously omitted and has now been added.]
  • Glenn Gardner PhD RN FRCNA,

    Professor, Director of the Centre of Clinical Nursing
    1. Queensland University of Technology and the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia
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  • Gerard O'Reilly MBBS FACEM MPH

    Emergency Physician
    1. The Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
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  • Trial registration details: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry dated 18th August 2013, ACTRN 12613000933752.

Abstract

Aim

To evaluate emergency nurse practitioner service effectiveness on outcomes related to quality of care and service responsiveness.

Background

Increasing service pressures in the emergency setting have resulted in the adoption of service innovation models; the most common and rapidly expanding of these is the emergency nurse practitioner. The delivery of high quality patient care in the emergency department is one of the most important service indicators to be measured in health services today. The rapid uptake of emergency nurse practitioner service in Australia has outpaced the capacity to evaluate this model in outcomes related to safety and quality of patient care.

Design

Pragmatic randomized controlled trial at one site with 260 participants.

Methods

This protocol describes a definitive prospective randomized controlled trial, which will examine the impact of emergency nurse practitioner service on key patient care and service indicators. The study control will be standard emergency department care. The intervention will be emergency nurse practitioner service. The primary outcome measure is pain score reduction and time to analgesia. Secondary outcome measures are waiting time, number of patients who did not wait, length of stay in the emergency department and representations within 48 hours.

Discussion

Scant research enquiry evaluating emergency nurse practitioner service on patient effectiveness and service responsiveness exists currently. This study is a unique trial that will test the effectiveness of the emergency nurse practitioner service on patients who present to the emergency department with pain. The research will provide an opportunity to further evaluate emergency nurse practitioner models of care and build research capacity into the workforce.

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