Effect of the 4-h target on time-to-analgesia in an Australian emergency department: A pilot retrospective observational study
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Objectives The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between and the effect of the 4-h target or National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) on the time-to-analgesia (TTA), as well as the provision of analgesia in an adult emergency department (ED). Methods The present study was a pilot descriptive explorative retrospective cohort study conducted in a public metropolitan ED. Eligible presentations for analysis were adults presenting with a documented pain score of ≥4 out of 10 between 1 and 14 September 2014. Triage Category 1, pregnant, chest pain and major trauma cases were excluded from the study. As a result, data for 260 patients were analysed. Results Of 260 patients, 176 had analgesia with a median TTA of 49 min. Increased NEAT compliance did not significantly decrease TTA. However, when the factors that affected the provision of analgesia were analysed, an association was demonstrated between Admitted and Short Stay NEAT performance and the provision of analgesia. The likelihood of receiving analgesia at all increased as Admitted and Short Stay NEAT compliance improved. Conclusion NEAT is a significant health policy initiative with little clinical evidence supporting its implementation. However, as the Admitted NEAT compliance increases, the probability of receiving analgesia increases, demonstrating a possible link between hospital function and clinical care provision that needs to be explored further.
Australian Health Review
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