Pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) is an emerging and vital field in hospital-based care. When a Texas children’s hospital experienced major shifts in patient volume over several years, leadership partnered closely with TeamHealth to provide full-time coverage for emergency care and to engage in process improvement projects to meet the growing demand.
Challenges: COVID-19 and Volumes
TeamHealth began providing part-time PEM services to the facility in 2015. In 2019, the pediatric ED experienced huge volume increases and overwhelming surges. In July 2019, the TeamHealth Performance Improvement (PIC) team and EM leadership visited to begin process evaluation and improvement plans. The team, working collaboratively with hospital leadership, began implementing a redesigned “fast-track” model that had been previously used but needed to be re-evaluated.
These initial efforts helped the facility weather December 2019, when a significant, rapid surge in patient volume necessitated immediate action. However, the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted the project. By December 2020, after persevering through the initial waves of the pandemic, TeamHealth re-engaged improvement efforts.
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