Psychiatric in-patients are often transferred to an emergency department for care of minor wounds, incurring significant distress to the patient and cost to the service.
To improve superficial wound management in psychiatric in-patients and reduce transfers to the emergency department.
Thirty-four trainees attended two peer-led suturing and wound management teaching sessions, and a suturing kit box was compiled and stored at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Teaching was evaluated using Kirkpatrick's model, and patient transfer numbers were acquired by reviewing in-patient Datix reports and emergency department case notes for 6 months before and after teaching.
The proportion of patients transferred to the emergency department decreased significantly from 90% 6 months before the workshop to 30% 6 months after (P < 0.05). Trainees engaged positively and there was a significant increase in self-confidence rating following the workshop (P < 0.05). The estimated cost saving per transfer was £183.76.
The combination of a peer-led workshop and on-site suturing kit box was effective in reducing transfers to the emergency department and provided a substantial cost saving.
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