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Evidence-informed update to Emergency Department safety checklist toolkit

Evidence from NIHR CLAHRC West’s evaluation of the use of the Emergency Department (ED) Safety Checklist in hospitals in the West of England has been used to update the national toolkit.

The toolkit, developed and hosted by the West of England AHSN, supports ED staff who are implementing the Safety Checklist. Hospital trusts have been encouraged by NHS Improvement to use both the ED Safety Checklist and the supporting toolkit since 2017, or a similar evidence-based system.

Use of the ED Safety Checklist (or an equivalent) is now supported and endorsed by NHS Improvement, NHS England, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Royal College of Nursing and the Care Quality Commission.

The key findings from the evaluation and incorporated into the toolkit include:

  • how to describe the use of the checklist to ED staff so they see it as part of patient safety rather than an admin task that gets deprioritised during busy periods
  • getting senior management buy-in for the toolkit
  • taking time for focused training
  • tailoring the checklist to local priorities
  • integrating the checklist into existing ED paperwork
  • how to monitor progress and audit effectively.

Dr Jon Banks, Research Fellow at NIHR CLAHRC West who led the evaluation, said:

“One of the things that really came out clearly in our research was how important the framing of the toolkit was by the project team to the ED staff who’d be completing it. It really needs to be clear that it’s there for clinical reasons, to enhance patient safety, not just to collect auditing information or other admin tasks.

“Our evaluation gave lots of recommendations for emergency departments, whether they are in the early stages of implementation or wanting to enhance and monitor what they’ve already done.”

Kevin Hunter, the West of England AHSN’s Associate Director for Patient Safety and Programme Delivery, said:

“It has been great to work with our research partners at the CLAHRC on this evidence-informed update of the ED Safety Checklist toolkit. It is vital that patient safety interventions, and their process for implementation, evolves as new evidence emerges and working alongside the CLAHRC has enabled us to synthesise rigorous new research into this flagship tool.”

Download the updated toolkit here.

Posted on September 24, 2019

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