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Unfreeze Your Emergency Department

When patients visit the emergency department, they want to be seen and treated as quickly as possible. The ED also serves as the primary driver of admissions in most hospitals, accounting for more than half of hospital admissions on average.

Dr. Jody Crane, TeamHealth Chief Clinical Officer, Emergency Medicine, recently shared with Becker’s Hospital Review advice on ways hospitals can enhance patient flow to improve efficiencies and increase patient satisfaction.

The U.S. reports 141.4 million ED visits annually, according to the CDC/National Center for Health Statistics. A Press Ganey study of 1.5 million patients at 1,893 hospitals found patients who spent one hour to two hours in the ED reported an overall satisfaction rate of 89 percent. The satisfaction rate dropped to about 77 percent when patients spent six-plus hours in the ED.

If an ED fails to function efficiently, whether due to slow discharge processes, inefficient operations or staffing issues, some patients may leave without ever seeing a provider.

“The take-home point is: If you’re efficient in the way you handle patients and you deliver reliable care, then patients are going to be almost uniformly satisfied,” Dr. Crane says. “The best way to please patients is to provide them with a reliable experience that is better than what they expected.”

Click here to read Becker’s Hospital Review, Unlocking ED Efficiencies featuring Dr. Jody Crane, TeamHealth Chief Clinical Officer, Emergency Medicine.