Emergency protocols initiating care

Help strengthen nursing in NSW emergency care

The emergency protocols initiating care (EPIC) co-design project aims to improve the experience for patients and health staff during initial emergency care.

Background

Nurse-initiated protocols and models of care are well established in NSW emergency departments. They safely reduce the time a patient waits for treatment, improves the standard of care and the patient’s length of stay in the emergency department.

However, the protocols, education and governance frameworks vary across NSW. This can lead to variations in patient care, nursing practice and the ability for nurses to transfer their skills between hospitals.

Aim

The EPIC project aims to provide an improved experience for patients and increase staff satisfaction through supporting metropolitan and rural hospitals to provide consistent care across NSW. This will be achieved through the provision of standardised EPIC protocols, an education pathway and governance framework.

How will we do this?

The EPIC project is using experience and evidence-based co-design to:

  • develop standard nurse-initiated protocols so that all patients attending NSW emergency departments receive the same quality of care
  • transform the emergency nurse educational framework, allowing the safe use of the EPIC protocols and a standardised approach to the professional journey for emergency nurses
  • create a toolkit to give local health districts the resources to implement the change.
EPIC protocols
Education pathway
Implementation toolkit

How will EPIC benefit me?

Delivering consistent best practice initial emergency care across the state will benefit patients, clinicians, hospitals and the health system in the following ways.

Patients
  • I will receive the same care, regardless of the emergency department I attend.
  • I will receive initial treatment more quickly, making my stay more comfortable.
  • As a rural patient, I can have life-saving care initiated closer to my home.
Nurses
  • I will be able to proactively attend to the needs of the patient.
  • My emergency care skills and expertise will be recognised across all NSW emergency departments.
  • I will have a clear understanding of how I can progress in my career.
  • This is good for me, my patients and their families because patients have access to timely, standardised emergency care.
Doctors
  • When I see my patients, they will have already had initial pain relief and any required x-rays or pathology ordered.
  • I will be able to spend more time on the patient management plan.
  • As a rural GP, there will be greater opportunity to streamline the care I provide in collaboration with emergency nurses.
Hospitals
  • Patients will have a better experience.
  • Patients will receive quicker initial treatment, which means they could spend less time in hospital.
  • Nurses and doctors will feel more supported in the care they provide.
  • The onboarding process for new emergency nurses will be more streamlined.
  • Education resourcing for emergency nurses can be shared more easily across the state.

Get involved

To achieve success, the EPIC project needs input from a range of stakeholders, including emergency nurses and members of medical teams, radiology, pathology, nurse managers, executives and consumers.

If you want to help shape the experiences and outcomes for patients and health staff in emergency departments, you can get involved in the EPIC project by joining a sub-committee.

The ACI invites expressions of interest from clinicians and consumers to fill positions on four sub-committees:

EPIC Executive Steering Committee

  1. Clinical sub‑committee

  2. Education sub‑committee

  3. Medication Safety sub‑committee

  4. Implementation sub‑committee

  • Adult, paediatric, rural, regional and metro representation
  • Finalise clinical information within protocols
  • Contribute to the EPIC governance framework

Ministry, Pillar, LHD executive, industry, adult, paediatric, rural, regional and metro representation.

  • Develop an emergency nurse education framework that supports the use of the EPIC protocols
  • Design a standardised emergency nurse education pathway that can be used across NSW
  • Contribute to the EPIC governance framework

Ministry, Pillar, LHD executive, industry, adult, paediatric, rural, regional and metro and consumer representation.

  • Provide expertise to the medication safety within the EPIC protocols
  • Develop an EPIC state formulary, linking in with the state formulary (and relevant approvals)
  • Contribute to the EPIC governance framework

Ministry, Pillar, LHD executive, industry, adult, paediatric, rural, regional and metro representation.

  • Provide sites with project and change-management skills to support the implementation of EPIC
  • Develop a toolkit that supports NSW Health organisations to implement EPIC
  • Develop statewide evaluation and monitoring plan
  • Contribute to the EPIC governance framework

Ministry, Pillar, LHD executive, industry, adult, paediatric, rural, regional and metro and consumer representation.

To express your interest in joining a sub-committee, please complete this form or email aci-ecis@health.nsw.gov.au

Progress to date

The ACI has assessed the available evidence to understand best practice and the future vision. It has worked closely with the following key partners in NSW Health.

The ACI has also consulted with nurse leaders throughout NSW, to develop:

  • a protocol structure
  • an approach to stakeholder engagement
  • a value proposition
  • a draft policy directive.

The Executive Steering Committee is in place to oversee the project, including the establishment of sub-committees.

Find out more

A SharePoint site has been established for NSW Health staff to learn more about the project and get involved in key activities.

To request access or find out more, email aci-ecis@health.nsw.gov.au

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