Whilst we are on the subject of checklists, here's a nugget from December's Emergency Medicine Australasia, with a tool that will help all of us to dispo. our patients more safely.
HOME: a mnemonic to facilitate ED discharge
Check patient understanding of diagnosis. Verbal + written education
Organize follow up
Everybody needs a follow-up plan:
- GP (letter or phone call to GP) – specific time frame
- Outpatients referral
- Scheduled review in the ED
Explain prescription medication (timing, dose, compliance, side-effects)
Give clear instruction on what to do if symptoms get:
- No better (i.e. stays the same)
We should all be doing this anyway, but in the haste to discharge patients (especially in this new age of time targets), we may sometimes forget something which could potentially reduce the quality of the patient experience in their journey through the ED process.
And staying on the theme of checklists, I received a copy of Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto for Christmas, and I'll be aiming to put a review out over the next couple of weeks.