Effect of triage nurse-led application of the Ottawa Ankle Rules on number of radiographic tests and length of stay in selected emergency departments in Oman

Fatema H. Al Abri, Joshua K. Muliira*, Huda Al Awaisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Ankle injuries are commonly seen in the emergency department (ED) and contribute to overcrowding. In Oman, injuries are a leading cause of years of life lost, disability-adjusted life years, and pose a burden to the healthcare system. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of ED triage nurse-led application of the Ottawa Ankle Rules (OARs) toward improving the healthcare outcomes of ankle injury patients. Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used to collect data (demographic characteristics, waiting time, length of stay, and number of radiographic tests) from 96 patients. The intervention group (n = 46) received ED triage nurse-led assessment and initiation of radiographic tests based on the OARs. The control group (n = 50) received usual care. Results: The participants' mean age was 26.4 ± 7.90 years. The main causes of ankle injuries were football (36%), falls (31%) and twisting while walking (24%). There was a significant difference in number of ankle X-rays (t = 6.19; p <.001); length of stay (U = 549; p <.001); and waiting time (U = 167; p <.001) between the control and intervention group. The intervention reduced the mean waiting time and length of stay by 25.09 and 41.01 min, respectively. Conclusion: Application of the OARs by the ED triage nurse can decrease the number of unnecessary radiographic tests, waiting time and length of stay in the ED. Nurses' utilization of evidence-based clinical decision-making tools can improve ED care outcomes of common acute conditions such as ankle injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12270
JournalJapan Journal of Nursing Science
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • ankle injury
  • ankle X-ray
  • emergency department
  • Ottawa Ankle Rules
  • triage nurse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory

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