(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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Emergency department crowding is a result of hospital capacity failure.
- Hospitals need to invest time and resources into investigating the causes for emergency department crowding and hospital capacity failure in their specific institutions.
- 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:
- Demand flow management
- Critical pathways
- Process mapping and workflow diagramming
- Emergency Severity Index Triage
- Lean and Six Sigma business methods
- Statistical forecasting
- Queuing Systems
- Discrete-event simulation modeling
- Balanced Scorecards
- Bedside registration
- Bioterrorism and disaster planning
- The one-bed ahead strategy
- Improving bed flow by allowing admitted patients with bed assignments to board on hospital floors
- Changing elective surgery scheduling to accommodate the resource demands for emergency department patients