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Providers Call for Standardized ED Metrics

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 14, 2011

In an effort to reduce emergency department crowding, nine associations representing ED healthcare providers have signed a consensus statement that proposes standardized definitions for six common ED metrics.

Under the consensus statement, for example, an emergency department is defined as "a dedicated location serving an unscheduled patient population requesting emergency assessment," and triage time is defined as "the time that rapid or comprehensive triage is initiated by a registered nurse or institutionally credentialed provider."

AnnMarie Papa, RN, president of the Emergency Nurses Association, said that a standard set of metrics are needed to get everyone on the same page when looking for solutions to the nation's worsening ED crowding issue.  

"Addressing it is one of ENA's top clinical priorities, but we can't solve a problem if we can't agree on how to quantify it," Papa said in a media release. "This consensus statement is a first and important step in reducing crowding and boarding in emergency rooms and helping us provide better and faster care to our patients."

Wait times in emergency departments are surging. The practice of boarding is a symptom of gridlock and prompts patients to leave the hospital without proper care.

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2 comments on "Providers Call for Standardized ED Metrics"


carolyn ambrose (7/21/2011 at 10:55 AM)
I think it is very narrow minded to think that the hospitals/ED can solve this issue. The wider issue is access to care. We have to provide alternate access points to patients who perceive the ED as "free care". They walk in, are seen quicker than they can be seen anywhere else and walk out without spending a dime. This is especially true of welfare patients who are not even ask for a co-pay. Everyone else just says "NO" to a co-pay request. In addition primary care providers must step up and take care of their patients - time and time again I hear my doctor sent me here because I could not get an appointment. How about walk in hours at the office. Access to care is the issue not ED over crowding which is a symptom.

Lindsay (7/20/2011 at 12:12 PM)
ED over crowding is a hospitalwide problem. Untill the rest of the hospital gets on board not much can be done. ED's only have so much room, we need to be able to move our patients to there room more efficently. The hospital needs to have a plan of action. It really helped allot at Florida Hospital Orlando when our director started pushing hard for the whole hospital to get involved.