Skagit Valley Hospital is a 137-bed, full-service hospital serving community and regional needs in Washington. When the emergency department team sought strengthened performance, they created a collaborative and effective ED process improvement program.
Skagit Valley Hospital has a busy 25-bed (17 medical, four trauma and four behavioral health) emergency department (ED). When volume exceeded capacity, the team needed to reevaluate processes to improve patient flow. The previous state included boarding roughly 50% of patients full-time, and while boarding was necessary, the department sought a new procedure to give timely care. During this time, the hospital was also facing a nursing shortage, which impacted coverage for the almost 34,000 annual volume with rising acuity. The team’s main goals were to improve patient throughput, address critical cases appropriately and to avoid preventable issues like lab delays.
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