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American Academy of Emergency Medicine

AAEM Position Statement on Improving Service Quality

(from White Paper on Improving Service Quality)

On behalf the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, we proposed this position statement for consideration by the Board of Directors:

  1. It is the mission of emergency medicine to provide continuous access to board certified emergency physicians to provide high quality care for patients with emergent and urgent conditions.

  2. Emergency department crowding is a national problem that affects the quality of healthcare for every American because it limits the continuous access to high quality care.

  3. Emergency department crowding is a result of hospital capacity failure.

  4. Hospitals need to invest time and resources into investigating the causes for emergency department crowding and hospital capacity failure in their specific institutions.

  5. Solutions can include the implementation of the following models to improve emergency department throughput and quality of care. These solutions include but are not limited to:

    1. Demand flow management
    2. Critical pathways
    3. Process mapping and workflow diagramming
    4. Emergency Severity Index Triage
    5. Lean and Six Sigma business methods
    6. Statistical forecasting
    7. Queuing Systems
    8. Discrete-event simulation modeling
    9. Balanced Scorecards
    10. Bedside registration
    11. Bioterrorism and disaster planning
    12. The one-bed ahead strategy
    13. Improving bed flow by allowing admitted patients with bed assignments to board on hospital floors
    14. Changing elective surgery scheduling to accommodate the resource demands for emergency department patients

5/16/06