Purpose-orientated stocking of procedure trolleys saves time in busy emergency centres

  • P Furstenburg
  • A Oosthuizen
  • L Wallis


Background. Inefficient storage and sourcing of routinely required consumables located on procedure trolleys result in time wasted when preparing for common procedures in emergency centres (ECs), contributing to poor efficiency and quality of care.

Objectives. We designed a novel purpose-orientated procedure trolley and evaluated its impact on time spent on procedure preparation and efficiency.

Methods. In an urban EC, eight participants were measured each day over 24 days, once using the standard setup and once using the modified procedure setup. During each simulation, efficiency markers were assessed (time spent on procedure preparation, steps taken, stops made, and time spent opening drawers to locate required items).

Results. The mean (standard deviation) time required to collect the required items for intravenous cannulation and blood sampling from the purpose-orientated trolley was 22.7 (3.66) seconds, compared with 49.2 (15.45) seconds using the standard trolley. There was a significant difference between the two trolleys in mean collection time (p<0.0005) and in all the other categories: steps taken, stops made and drawer opening (p<0.0005).

Conclusions. In our setting, stocking procedure trolleys in a purpose-orientated manner has the potential to improve efficiency by reducing time spent on procedure preparation.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-5135
print ISSN: 0256-9574