A protocol is a set of tasks performed as a group. Think of it as a mini-to-do list.
In creating a protocol, you list the tasks that you do every time in this situation. You may do additional activities, but you must do these. Having the protocol helps you make sure none are missed. Here's an example, for an Emergency Department (ED) for patients with back pain. These are the required tasks to do for these patients. You may do more than these but you must be certain to do at least these:
|Monitor Vital Signs||3 minutes after pt arrival||3 minutes|
|Medication Administration||6 minutes after pt arrival||3 minutes|
|Discharge Instructions||11 minutes after pt arrival||5 minutes|
When you create a protocol, you decide what tasks are in it. It has a deadline -- the time by which the protocol must be started or completed. Further, each task in a protocol has a deadline and you must decide on those, too. Here's how (click here to see a diagram) to create a protocol:
- Decide whether the protocol is one that is triggered by some event (e.g. a patient is admitted) or one that leads up to some event (e.g. a patient goes to the OR for a procedure). In the latter case, the tasks in the protocol must be completed by a specific time so their deadlines form a kind of countdown.
- For each task, make your best guess as to how many minutes it takes to do. For "background" tasks like "watch for hemorrhage" which might range over several hours or even an entire shift, all the app can do is remind to do it, so put it at the start of the protocol and give it a minute.
- For each task, decide when it should occur in the protocol's sequence, i.e. what is its deadline. E.g. in a pre-op protocol, a prophylactic antibiotic must be given no sooner than 30 minutes before the procedure, but no less than 15, so the deadline is 15.
A protocol can be added to a shift or to a patient. Add it to a shift if it's not a set of tasks that you intend to do for a particular patient. For example, hourly rounding is a non-patient-specific protocol. Here are the steps you would perform:
- Once the shift is started, on the Home screen choose Remind Me.
- On the Remind Me screen, choose Protocols from a List.
- From the Protocols list, choose Hourly Rounds 12 Hr or Hourly Rounds 8 Hr (depending, of course, on how long your shift is).
- Choose No Patient (because you are rounding the entire unit, not an individual patient).
- Choose the time at which the first of the 12 (or 8) rounds is due, e.g. if your shift starts at 8:00 you might want the first round to be completed by 8:30. The app would then automatically add a rounding task at 8:30, 9:30, etc.