In February of 2006 Emory University Hospital emergency department officially opened the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU). The CDU is an eight-bed observation unit, designed to care for patients that can receive nursing care and interventions with probable discharge within twenty-three hours. At the same time, two associate providers (AP) were hired to help with daily operations of the CDU. Since then the emergency department has expanded and so has the need for more associate providers. There are currently ten associate providers that work between the CDU, triage and the emergency department. At Emory University hospital an AP can be either a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
The APs are all very committed to the Magnet journey and actively incorporate the components of structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, innovation and empirical quality outcomes while providing patient family centered care. The APs are also involved with maintaining core measures proficiency of acute Myocardial infarction, Pneumonia, and heart failure.
In the CDU the AP, along with an attending physician, oversea the daily management of the CDU including rounding on patients, cardiac risk stratification, and collaborating with specialty services to coordinate patient care. In triage and care initiation area (CIA), the AP interviews patients and begin the workup process. The triage AP also provide care and discharge lower acuity patients from the triage area, thus reducing their length of stay and increasing patient satisfaction. The AP in the emergency department works in collaboration with attending physicians to provide care to patients and their families.
All of the APs within Emory University hospital emergency department strive to improve quality of care, increase patient satisfaction, and support positive outcomes. The APs participate in evidence-based research, scholarly development and continuing medical education opportunities. There is a strong commitment to the local community through the aftERcare program. The aftERcare program is run soley by the APs. The main focus is to provide follow up as needed to every patient that is discharged from the emergency department with pending laboratory and/or radiology test results. All patients that need follow up are contacted by telephone or certified letter. AftERcare also help with referrals to free or low cost medical care and often just a telephone call to check on a patients status.
For more information please contact Lee Economy, Chief Associate provider.