Using prompt cards to help deliver emergency care

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Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust's emergency department uses prompt cards to show essential steps in condition-specific scenarios whilst highlighting safety critical steps and common pitfalls.

Find out how Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust's emergency department is using prompt cards to deliver patient care.

Staff working in the emergency department are expected to deal with any medical or surgical emergency, perform complex procedures and arrange the administration of the more unusual medications. This must all be delivered in a time sensitive but thorough manner which raises a series of questions including: 

  • How does the consultant or registrar ensure they have covered all the steps required in a given scenario? 
  • How do staff ensure safety critical procedures are done with the correct professionals, considerations, equipment and monitoring every single time? 
  • How does the person new to the emergency department prepare themselves for an entirely new situation? 
  • How does the next generation of doctors prepare themselves to become well versed in approaching our most unwell patients? 

These questions and lessons learnt from previous cases led to the creation of the emergency prompt cards which feature succinct ‘how to’ steps derived from the trust's local experts and national guidance, covering a great many clinical conditions. Using the cards has led to a succinct and uniform approach to delivering highest quality care, safer and faster.

If you'd like to know more about the prompt cards please email James Green, Clinical Fellow, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust: jagreen@doctors.org.uk

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