CMS Quietly Makes Some ED Wait Times Public
In time, public reporting should prompt all hospitals to improve their EDs, hopefully in time for when more people receive coverage and seek care, and as baby boomers like me get closer to the day when the ED may mean the difference between life and death.
But hospitals need to get moving to find their vulnerabilities and smooth their flow, and this new public report of the data seems the perfect nudge to do that.
"The theory is that when hospitals report this information, it makes them focus on it, and improve throughout their ED," Pines says, "but it's very hard to do. Certain performance measures are easier to fix—like simple process measures like giving patients an aspirin—than improving ED throughput, which involves development of interdisciplinary teams."
"The good thing about having public reporting of all this is that it allows for a hospital's reputation to be tied to performance in its emergency department." It pushes hospital administrators to focus on the ED as well, he says.
Let's hope it does. And let's hope this big fat database improves so it can move this process along.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
- 'Mega Boards' Could be Rural Healthcare Disruptor
- 1 in 5 Eligible Hospitals Penalized for HACs
- HL20: Rebecca Katz—Cooking Up Sustainable Nourishment
- Meaningful Use Payment Adjustments Begin
- HL20: Peter Semczuk, DDS, MPH—Taking on the Big Challenges
- PA hospital to pay $662,000 to settle Medicare fraud case
- Supreme Court to hear Obamacare subsidy challenge in March
- Dr. Oz gets fact-checked and the results aren't pretty
- How the high cost of medical care is affecting Americans
- HL20: Lee Aase—Who's Behind @MayoClinic