Waiting Time In The Ed Case Study

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Improving “waiting Time” in the Emergency Department According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012), the average time patients spend in the U.S. emergency department (ER) before they can see a doctor has increased to 25% between 2003-2009. The main cause of longer wait times (WT) in the ER is overcrowding. Overcrowding has been found to be closely related to both subjective and objective patient satisfaction (Miro’ et al, 2003). Longer wait times in the ED is such an important issue because its consequences are detrimental not only to the ER patients, but also to providers. As a health care provider, decreasing patients’ WT in the ED is essential, although challenging, to improve patient’s health outcomes and increase patients’ satisfaction. Although it is a very challenging issue to tackle, hospitals that have initiated some quality improvement (QI) strategies are experiencing some positive outcomes in that area of care. The outcomes are measured by decreased waiting times, improved patients’ clinical outcomes and increased patients’ satisfaction. The purpose of this paper is to investigate on the issue of longer waiting times in the ED. The body will use live experiences of daily practices relevant resources to substantiate the following ideas by: stating the general background or the prevalence of long waiting time in the ED and to describe previous attempts (interventions) used by healthcare institutions to solve these chronic waiting time issues. Causes of longer WT in the ED Research holds that major precipitating factors of longer WT are overcrowding defined by Paul, Reddy & De Flitch (2010) as a serious threat to healthcare system that has reached the crisis proportions in the United State... ... middle of paper ... ... revealed that longer waiting times has negatively impacted the lives of not only patients, but also healthcare providers . Some QI strategies implemented such as simulation tools, fast -track and reorganization of the ED by several hospitals has shown some improvement in workflow thus decreasing overcrowding and the length of time spent in the ED. As healthcare leaders, the focus should reside on ongoing advocacy for new policies or guidelines to resolve the waiting time issues and addressing limitations of previous interventions. Addressing the ED issues, Leaders should abide by the IOM report considering overcrowding as a mostly external or a system-wide issue. Implementing preventive measures described earlier will help not only to decrease WT in the ED, but also to avoid future incidents similar to the one recently experienced in St Barnabas Hospital.
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