In our May 2015 Intelligence Report, healthcare leaders cited a variety of concerns related to the emergency department in the coming three years. HealthLeaders Media Council members discuss their expectations.
This article first appeared in the November 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Timothy Greco, MD
Medical Director of Emergency Services
St. Jude Medical Center
We have a good triage team, but we're trying to make it even more efficient. The hope is to combine a simpler protocol for triage and simplify the exhaustive and long intake questionnaire that currently serves as initial welcome.
We've recently hired on a team of consultants to help us with metrics and building new efficiencies into our intake and triage process.
I'd say that the best "technology" in the ER right now is actually people who can do nonphysician things for the physician.
Scribes have been a big plus. The electronic medical record is still something that is alien to many of us. I think that while most doctors are fairly computer savvy, many are still not comfortable with EMRs.
We're also developing workers who will manage patient placement. Placing alcoholics, drug addicts, or psych patients after a hospital stay, or placing older people in nursing homes takes a ridiculous amount of time. We're also trying to bring in individuals who help manage patients for the physician. This person will be tracking when the patient is ready to be seen, if the patient got in to a bed, and so on. These are all things physicians don't do very well, and that takes them away from their clinical goals.
Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.