Effectiveness of early assessment and intervention by interdisciplinary teams including health and social care professionals in the emergency department: protocol for a systematic review.

INTRODUCTION: Finding cost-effective strategies to improve patient care in the emergency department (ED) is an increasing imperative given growing numbers of ED attendees. Encouraging evidence indicates that interdisciplinary teams including health and social care professionals (HSCPs) enhance patient care across a variety of healthcare settings. However, to date no systematic reviews of the effectiveness of early assessment and/or interventions carried by such teams in the ED exist. This systematic review aims to explore the impact of early assessment and/or intervention carried out by interdisciplinary teams including HSCPs in the ED on the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of care, and to define the content of the assessment and/or intervention offered by HSCPs.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses standardised guidelines, we will conduct a systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-RCTs, controlled before-after studies, interrupted time series and repeated measures studies that report the impact of early assessment and/or intervention provided to adults aged 18+ by interdisciplinary teams including HSCPs in the ED. Searches will be carried in Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Cochrane Library and MEDLINE from inception to March 2018. We will also hand-search the reference lists of relevant studies. Following a two-step screening process, two independent reviewers will extract data on the type of population, intervention, comparison, outcomes and study design. The quality of the studies will be appraised using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. The findings will be synthesised in a narrative summary, and a meta-analysis will be conducted where appropriate.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval will not be sought since it is not required for systematic reviews. The results of this review will be disseminated through publication in a peer-review journal and presented at relevant conferences.