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Emergency Department Congestion Improvements

Info: 1202 words (5 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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 Emergency Department Congestion – Option 1

HCM520 – Quality and Performance Improvements in Healthcare


Challenges and impact of emergency department utilization

Emergency Departments provide a critical part of healthcare in the U.S, with more than 131 million visits happening in 2011. Use of emergency department accompanies impacts and numerous difficulties. Over the previous decade, the expansion in ED usage has outpaced the development of general communities, regardless of a national decrease in the total number of emergency departments. Emergency Department usage mirrors the more prominent healthcare needs of the community and provides with promptly accessible medical care for people who can’t get healthcare somewhere else. Numerous emergency room visits are resource sensitive and potentially preventable, implying that access to high quality, community-based medical services can prevent the requirement for a part of ER visits (Weiss, Wier, Stocks & Blanchard, 2014).

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One great example of overutilization of the emergency department is the Sainte-Marie University Hospital. Sainte-Marie was an only mid-size private clinic that provided emergency care and since it was the only in about 50 miles radius it leads to being over utilized. Overutilization of ED can have a significant repercussion on a hospitals ability to provide quality care for patients. It can lead to long delays and patients not having timely access to medical treatment. Hence the secretary of health requested an action plan to reduce the wait time at the hospitals ED (Hublet, Besbes, & Chan, 2014).

Operational problems faced by the ED and assessment of the performance

Sainte-Marie ED is facing operational issues in regards to mostly the quality of their services, particularly the prolonged holdup times that ED patients experience. The patient spends about an average of 30 minutes to an hour for the preliminary examinations such as registration and waiting for a bed. The average time for patient management is about 3 hrs. which include vitals checked, examination by the doctor, laboratory test, X-ray, CAT Scan, and specialist review. The discharge about 40 minutes on average and from registration to discharge a patient ends up spending on average 5 hours in the emergency department.

These wasteful delayed waiting times have brought about flawed patient safety and quality of care, likewise negatively affecting the clinic’s reputations. Also, this fundamental operational issue with respect to holding up time is prompting the issue of low morale among emergency department staff and monetary worry as their incomes decrease because of lost beneficial emergency cases. My appraisal of the present performance is that Sainte-Marie is unmistakably not working in the most financially and time efficient strategy which is most obviously found in their patient management process, which is bringing about: disappointed patients, a troublesome reputation and a plenty of different results Hublet, Besbes, & Chan, 2014).

Additional measures for improving Sainte-Marie ED performance and reducing ED Congestion

The overall challenges faced by Sainte-Marie due to the long waits lead to economic challenges such as losing revenue, increase in overtime for staff and increased liability. There are multiple results for the wait and delays in the Emergency Department at Sainte-Marie. The first one is that the staff is scheduled in two shifts from 7 am to 7 pm and 7 pm to 7 am with the heaviest traffic around 9 am to 7 pm. The best solution for this to hire new staff to cover the heaviest traffic leading to fewer delays in the ED. The second issue is the centralized laboratory used by the whole hospital which takes on average two hours to process the test results. The best solution for this is by ensuring that the laboratory has enough staff to either run just the ED specimens or to make sure the ED specimens are given the first priority. The third issue is that Sainte-Marie only has one CAT Scan leading to further delays. Saint-Marie should set a budget to get a second CAT Scan instrument leading to reduced wait time. There should also be a more efficient utilization of intern and supervisor cooperation which can be achieved by hiring more employees Hublet, Besbes, & Chan, 2014).

The significance of measurements and analytics in providing quality patient care

In the healthcare industry, the patients and doctors are regularly left oblivious for quite a long time after clinical events extraordinarily constraining the organization’s endeavors to improve quality and effectiveness. Again and again today, health-care data is separated and not promptly available in a concentrated, educated way, incredibly restricting the business’ endeavors to enhance quality and efficiency. Analytics tools address this issue head-on by bringing dissimilar data from numerous sources into the one place it’s required most, at the point of care, progressively where the advantages can genuinely be life-saving. The data picked up from analyzing enormous measures of accumulated healthcare information can give significant understanding to enhance operational quality and efficiency for suppliers and insurance providers alike. This expanded productivity is fundamental in a healthcare industry quickly changing from volume-to esteem based health-care (Rizzo, 2015).


Sainte-Marie University Hospital economic wellbeing is being harmed due to the loss of revenue and increased liability due to the prolonged wait time. This issue must address immediately by employing more staff and putting the resources to right use by using measurements and analytics data to provide quality patient care.



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