The Impact of a Nurse Practitioner-Run Emergency Department Fast Track on Patient Satisfaction

Statement of Problem The increasing demand for care in the ED by patients who do not require emergency care, according to acuity levels, contributes to overcrowding which may reduce patient satisfaction A nurse practitioner-run fast track in the emergency department has the potential to reduce ED overcrowding and improve patient satisfaction with care. Sources of Data Three health care related electronic databases were searched for research articles fitting the inclusion criteria of emergency, nurse practitioner, and patient satisfaction. Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria for this systematic review. Research studies included case-controlled studies, randomized controlled trials, observational studies, explorative descriptive design studies, explorative studies, secondary analysis of prospective studies, and surveys. Conclusions Reached There is a strong recommendation for an NP run fast track considering the feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness, and effectiveness of the collected evidence. There are NPs with sufficient education and experience to run a fast track in the ED setting. This model of care delivery lessons ED wait times for low acuity patients and improves patient satisfaction. This systematic review adds to the body of literature and will be useful to Emergency Departments who are considering implementing a nurse practitioner-run fast track.