Investigating the Effect of Clinical Governess Approach on Patients' Length of Stay in Emergency Department: an Action Research Study
Over the past decade, clinical governance approach with aims to improve the quality of health services has been proposed in Iran. Considering the obvious problems especially patients' length of stay (LOS) in the emergency departments (EDs); the present study has been carried out with the purpose of Investigating the effect of clinical governess approach on patients' LOS in the one of the largest medical centers in the country. After the problem was specified by the 17 interviews with employees and managers of the ED; the emergency clinical governance committee was formed by two academic researchers and seven ED staff (key participants) that had the most involvement with the subject of study. The activities of the committee, including planning, acting, observing and reflecting, was organized by using participatory action research approach and action research cycle (Kemmis 1995). During this time, three formal meetings with key participants were held in 6-month intervals. Monthly records of patients' average LOS and interview with ED staff were used to analyze the findings. The research was completed with two cycles in one year. Committee members took the following actions. As a result, the patients' LOS reduced from 2.68 days to 1.73 days. Make regular patients visits by medical groups especially orthopedists and neurologists; Decision making about patients situation by emergency physicians and transferring patients to the relevant units by bed managers; Refusing to admit elective patients during overcrowding times; to regulate the list of patients requiring ICU by anesthesiologists. Prolonged LOS can be due to various causes and a team approach, which is one of the requirements of clinical governance approach, is needed to manage it. The results showed that the multidisciplinary team could make positive changes and reduce LOS in emergency setting.
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