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Policies,Clinical,UWHC Clinical,Department Specific,Emergency Department

Safe Discharge from the Emergency Department (6.0)

Safe Discharge from the Emergency Department (6.0) - Policies, Clinical, UWHC Clinical, Department Specific, Emergency Department

6.0


EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT POLICY & PROCEDURE




Effective Date:
Month April 14, 2015

ED Policy Manual

Policy #: __6.0____

Original
X Revision


Page
1
of
_2__

Title: Safe Discharge from the Emergency
Department

I. Purpose
To monitor discharge safety for patients with potentially impaired altered mental status.

II. Policy
A. Patients who are being discharged from the ED after receiving medications that may
impair judgment and patients who present to the ED and are suspected of impaired
judgment may not be able to drive a motor vehicle.
B. Patients who are suspected of being impaired prior to ED presentation or as a result of
ED medication, should obtain a ride home with a responsible individual.
C. If a patient believed by ED staff to be impaired refuses to comply and leaves to drive a
motor vehicle, the ED staff can immediately report the patient/driver to UWHC Security.

III. Procedure
A. Medication Administration
1. Patients, and any visitors present, may be cautioned not to drive after
receiving a sedation medication such as one of the following:
ξ Opiates
ξ Sedating Anti-Histamines
ξ Benzodiazepines
ξ Sedating Anti-Emetics
ξ Ketamine, Propofol, or Etomidate
2. If the patient does not have a ride home with a responsible driver, staff may
offer assistance with alternate transportation, such as a bus pass, or assist with
making a phone a call. Once a safe discharge plan is deemed to be in place,
medications may be administered.
3. If the patient does not agree to a safe discharge plan with ED staff, the
physician will be informed, and the medication may be withheld.

B. Potentially driving and the incapacitated patient
1. When a patient or other person is believed to be impaired by way of altered
mental status, staff will offer assistance with alternative transportation.
2. If the patient insists on driving, and appears to be a threat to himself or herself, or
the public at large, staff members will contact UWHC Security Department and
inform them of the circumstances. UWHC Security will contact UW Police or the
responsible police department and inform them of the circumstances and any
available information about the vehicle, such as color, make and license plate
number.
3. Disclosure of confidential medical information should be minimized.


EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT POLICY & PROCEDURE




Effective Date:
Month April 14, 2015

ED Policy Manual

Policy #: __6.0____

Original
X Revision


Page
2
of
_2__

Title: Safe Discharge from the Emergency
Department




III. UWHC CROSS REFERENCE
A. Discharge Of Surgical Outpatients through the Outpatient Surgery Center/First Day
Surgery Center. (UWHC Department Policy 2.09)
B. Reporting patients who may be unsafe drivers (UWHC Hospital Administrative
Policy 4.36)

IV. REVIEWED BY

ξ Nurse Manager, Emergency Department
ξ Director, Nursing Quality, Regulatory, Labor Relations and Facility Planning
ξ Division Chief, Emergency Medicine
ξ Clinical Nurse Specialist, Emergency Department
ξ Director, Risk Management
ξ ED Process Improvement Committee
ξ ED Clinical Ops
ξ Security Supervisor
ξ Emergency Medicine Pharmacist
ξ ED Nurse Council
ξ General Council Executive



SIGNED BY



___________________________ ____________________________

Tami Morin, MS, RN Azita G. Hamedani, MD, MPH
Director, Emergency Services Chief, Department of Emergency
Medicine