Application: Improving Patient Flow in Emergency DepartmentsAs you learned from Chapter 4 of Hospital-Based Emergency Care and from this week’s articles, emergency departments face serious challenges that impact, and are impacted by, conditions throughout the hospital. Experts emphasize the need to making patient flow more efficient. As noted in the IOM Committee’s report:
Patient flow, defined as the movement of patients through this system, is an important indicator of the timeliness, safety, and quality of the care received. Efficient patient flow ensures maximum throughput (the number of patients treated and discharged from the ED per day), minimizing delays at each point of the delivery process with no decrement in the quality of care. Impaired patient flow, on the other hand, results in bottlenecks that prolong delays for patients already in the system, as well as those awaiting entry (p. 133).
For this Application, you will interview at least one administrator or manager working in a local emergency department to learn how his or her ED has identified and addressed challenges involving patient flow. On the basis of this interview, you will select one of these challenges and do further research about best practices to address this problem.
1. Setting Up the Interview
The interviewee should hold one of the following (or comparable) positions for this ED:
2. Preparing for and Conducting the Interview
3. Completing the Application
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: YOU CAN GOOGLE THE BOOK. CONTACT ME FOR ACCESS TO WALDEN LIBRARY
Tools and methodologie
s of process improvement, such as process mapping and benchmarking, are explained in this chapter.
Key elements of reengineering in health care are outlined in this chapter, including methods for measuring and analyzing of time standards, work sampling, and work simplification.
Chapter 4 of this report describes strategies for improving the efficiency of hospital-based emergency care, with special focus on issues of patient flow.
Please scroll to the very bottom of the webpage to locate the link for the PDF of the article.
Review these Web pages for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s perspective on need for improving patient flow in emergency and other departments in health care organizations: