Physicians
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Challenging Physicians to Help Improve the ED

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2012

In some cases, Providence is trying to go further. "The ED affects all aspects of the hospital," says Kim Bullock, MD, an emergency department physician at Providence Hospital who has participated in meetings with other doctors and hospital officials to improve the ED. Bullock is also director of community health and assistant director of service learning in the department of family medicine at nearby Georgetown University Medical Center.

"All (hospital) services were eventually included in the discussions. And it involved everyone from the CEO to housekeeping, from admittance staff to environmental services. Everyone has a stake in the game, in order to get sustained solutions."

Specifically, the meetings focused on "procedural improvement and interdepartmental cooperation in improving ED efficiency, patient transfers, and ancillary services support," Bullock adds. They talked about doing a better job communicating at the bedside when there is an admission to an available room; they talked about coordinating plans with housekeeping to move things along quicker. They talked about the importance of improving physician and nurse communication in the ED. All told, Bullock says the discussion focused on 64 planning points.

To deal with patient safety and other concerns, Providence appointed a "throughput task force," which included physicians and administrators, to evaluate methods to improve the ED, she says. While there is often talk in healthcare about "physician champions," Providence selected one strictly for the ED.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

2 comments on "Challenging Physicians to Help Improve the ED"


stefani daniels (5/25/2012 at 9:31 AM)
Based on research in the literatures, most ED waiting rooms are filled with people that do not require ED resources. So why aren't hospital execs doing more to remedy? It seems that 56% of your respondents are by implementing medical triage. Once the EMTALA standard is met, the patient should be referred to primary care services....or would that be competition to the community physicians?

Angelo Falcone (5/25/2012 at 6:38 AM)
Interesting article. In our experience flow problems in the ED can be attributed to 1/3 front end and 2/3 back end issues. While the ED itself can (and should) fix the front end through process changes such as straight backs and more efficient departmental processing such as rapid evaluation areas and discharge lounges the bottleneck at the back end is the major rate limiting step. Hospitals that have fixed that problem only do so when senior hospital leadership make it a priority. Otherwise it is lip service.