Emergency medicine Australasia : EMA 2017 01 13() doi 10.1111/1742-6723.12714
Pain is a common feature of ED presentations and the timely provision of adequate analgesia is important for patient care. However, there is currently no New Zealand data with respect to this indicator of care quality. The present study aimed to provide a baseline for the quality of care with respect to the provision of timely and adequate analgesia in New Zealand EDs.
The present study is a secondary analysis of data initially collected for the Shorter Stays in Emergency Department Study, using a retrospective chart review of 1685 randomly selected ED presentations (2006-2012) from 26 New Zealand public hospital EDs.
Of the 1685 charts randomly selected, 1547 (91%) were reviewed from 21 EDs. There were 866 ED presentations with painful conditions, of whom 132 (15%) did not have pain recorded, 205 (24%) did not receive pain relief and 19 (2%) did not have time of analgesia documented leaving 510 (59%) for the analysis of time to analgesia. Four hundred and fifty-seven (53%) did not have pain well documented sufficiently to assess adequacy, leaving 277 (32%) for the analysis of adequacy of analgesia. The median (interquartile range) time to analgesia was 62 (30-134) min and the provision of adequate analgesia was 141/277 (51%, 95% CI: 45-57%); however, there was some variation between hospitals for both outcomes.
Although these outcomes are on a par with other countries, this baseline audit has shown both poor documentation and variation in the provision of timely and adequate pain relief in New Zealand EDs, with room for improvement with respect to this quality indicator.