J Emerg Med. 2012 Jul;43(1):149-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 May 28.
Exploring strategies to improve emergency department intake.
SourceIntermountain Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
BACKGROUND:The emergency department (ED) is the point of entry for nearly two-thirds of patients admitted to the average United States (US) hospital. Due to unacceptable waits, 3% of patients will leave the ED without being seen by a physician.
OBJECTIVES:To study intake processes and identify new strategies for improving patient intake.
METHODS:A year-long learning collaborative was created to study innovations involving the intake of ED patients. The collaborative focused on the collection of successful innovations for ED intake for an "improvement competition." Using a qualitative scoring system, finalists were selected and their innovations were presented to the members of the collaborative at an Association for Health Research Quality-funded conference.
RESULTS:Thirty-five departments/organizations submitted abstracts for consideration involving intake innovations, and 15 were selected for presentation at the conference. The innovations were presented to ED leaders, researchers, and policymakers. Innovations were organized into three groups: physical plant changes, technological innovations, and process/flow changes.
CONCLUSION:The results of the work of a learning collaborative focused on ED intake are summarized here as a qualitative review of new intake strategies. Early iterations of these new and unpublished innovations, occurring mostly in non-academic settings, are presented.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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