Improving Oxygen Delivery on Wards (2017)

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Post on the Academy of Fab NHS Stuff website

*Nawaid Ahmad

Full text:
Oxygen (O2) is a drug and should be prescribed if administered to a patient. The British Thoracic Society has published guidelines on emergency oxygen delivery and a recent audit showed that out of 100 patients on O2, 42 did not have a written order.

Cycle 1: 2 FY1s collected data on O2 prescription and delivery on the respiratory ward at the Princess Royal Hospital, a part of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS trust. At our trust, O2 is prescribed on the patient’s drug chart and saturation targets are mentioned on the prescription. 61% patients on O2 had a written order and 58% had the target mentioned along with the prescription.


Cycle 2: After the data collection, we started doing face to face education about O2 prescription in the acute medical unit and the respiratory ward. We targeted the Drs, nurses and the health care assistants. This was done for a week. A prompt card was developed (Pic 1) which was attached next to the O2 delivery system on the wall to prompt nurses to get the O2 prescribed. A card mentioning O2 targets was attached to the board above the patients bed. Another data collection was done a month later which showed that O2 prescription rates had gone up to 79% and 77% had a target mentioned.

Cycle 3: This involved forming an O2 team comprising the 2FY1s, one staff nurse and one healthcare assistant from the ward. They are called ‘O2 Ninjas’ and wear a badge (Pic 2). Their main role now will be to continue the education of all staff, each at their own level. We plan to roll out an educational programme through the trust staff education department and teach using scenarios. The idea is to spread this process to other specialties within the trust. Work is on going.

Our Motto: “ An idea needs to become a movement, for change to happen”

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