Challenging Physicians to Help Improve the ED

Joe Cantlupe, May 24, 2012

Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, struggling to conform to a corrective action plan to correct "serious deficiencies" documented by the centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has been making progress in improving its emergency department. But it is still falling short in making improvements associated with its emergency department.

Fixing an ED is a slow process. A few months ago, Thomas Royer, MD, interim CEO of Parkland, told me how the hospital ED volume spilled over the night before we spoke. "We had 200 people waiting in the Emergency Department to be seen. We had to go on total diversion because we had no beds in the hospital," Royer said.

Problems of the ED linger, of course, not only at Parkland, but elsewhere in the nation. This is reflected in the May HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, "Volume, Flow and Safety Issues in the ED." "The ED can get backed up with patients needing inpatient beds, leaving us working out of three or four rooms where we have a 25-bed capacity and 10 stretchers in the halls," a director of emergency service services says. 

Joe Cantlupe Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.Twitter

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