The Hospital where I work is nearly 200 beds, but sounds similar to Frann's. They recently added a new 8-bed unit (I'm not sure if there are 8 or 10 beds), "EAU"-- Express Admission Unit, and it's near our E.D. and is staffed similarly to Frann's: Two RN's, a PCT (aide), and Unit Clerk. The nurses do all the admission paperwork, put care plans
and patient profiles into the computer, give some of the meds, monitor them with telemetry, and they're supposed to get patients to the units within 2 hours, but with our bed crunch, patients have sometimes ended up in EAU more than 24 hours.
We also had some kind of experts come in and tell us that one of the patients' biggest gripes is long waits in the E.D. before getting a bed on the units (natch!) Well, with the ongoing bed shortages, they at least are now in a hospital bed instead of the more uncomfortable E.D. stretchers.
It's really helped us on the floor a LOT (since only RN's are permitted to do admissions), but there are still glitches as in any new system. We of course have to check over all of the orders very carefully and there may be more than 24 hours' worth since they've been in EAU, as I mentioned. Also, some of the staff are new to our hospital and aren't as thorough as we'd wish and mistakes are often made.
Among the many things I appreciate about EAU, one of the most exciting prospects, to ME anyway, is the possibility of not having to set up Buck's traction again, one of my least favorite tasks-- since it is so darn time-consuming and I never could remember how to do it correctly!