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Improving Patient Flow in ED Coursework

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2022

Purpose And/or Objective of the Project

As emergency departments (ED) experience increased patient volumes, facility managers are challenged by overcrowding, which decreases customer satisfaction. It is imperative to reverse the problem by using effective methods that focus on quality improvement. The purpose of the project is to improve patient flow in emergency departments through the use of the Fast Track (FT) system.

Background and Significance

Long waiting and turnaround times represent crucial problems at emergency departments. The limited capacity of facilities is caused by a large number of patients trying to seek care for reasons of low or moderate urgency (Mandavia & Samaniego, 2016). Therefore, it is essential to use a tool that would address this challenge and ensure that high-urgency patients are treated first to ensure positive health outcomes. FT system at EDs is expected to manage the inflow of patients to develop a framework for a fast response for high-risk patients.

Description of Methods or Procedure

The FT system represents a method of creating a second patient flow in parallel to their regular flow to evaluate moderate- and low-risk patients (Theunissen et al., 2013). A program will be implemented at an emergency department over three months, with results being compared to the control ED settings in which the FT was not applied.

Evidence of Results/ Outcomes-How It Was Measured

Main outcome measures will include patient satisfaction rates, line wait times, and the number of individuals cleared by nurses. The comparison of numbers of patients treated before the program and after will serve as a vital indicator of success. Patient satisfaction surveys are administered to collect qualitative data regarding the program’s usefulness.

Conclusions

The introduction of FT to reduce wait times and manage patient flow in emergency departments represents an opportunity for quality improvement (Wang, Li., & Howard, 2013). A decrease in both outcome measures is expected after the three-month implementation of the program that encouraged resource allocation and sufficient risk assessment.

References

Mandavia, S., & Samaniego, L. (2016). Improving ED efficiency to capture additional revenue. Healthcare Financial Management, 2016, 66-69.

Theunissen, B., Lardenoye, S., Hannemann, P., Gerritsen, K., Brink, P., & Poeze, M. (2013). Fast track by physician assistants shortens waiting and turnaround times of trauma patients in an emergency department. European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery, 40(1), 87-91.

Wang, J., Jingshan, L., & Howard, P. (2013). A system model of work flow in the patient room of hospital emergency department. Health Care Management Science, 16, 341-351.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Improving Patient Flow in ED." June 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/improving-patient-flow-in-ed/.

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