Skip to main content

Mapping the 24-Hour Emergency Department Cycle to Improve Patient Flow

Buy Article:

$12.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Background:Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City), in conjunction with emergency department (ED) staff at LDS Hospital, designed an integrated patient tracking system (PTS) and a specialized data repository (ED Data Mart) that was part of an overall enterprisewide data warehouse. After two years of internal beta testing the PTS and its associated data captures, an analysis of various ED operations by time of day was undertaken.

Methods: Real-time data, concurrent with individual ED patient encounters from July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005 were included in a retrospective analysis.

Results: A number of patterns were revealed that provide a starting point for understanding ED processes and flow. In particular, ED census, acuity, operations, and throughput vary with the time of day. For example, patients seen during low-census times, in the middle of the night, appear to have a higher acuity. Radiology and laboratory utilization were highly correlated with ED arrivals, and the higher the acuity, the greater the utilization.

Discussion: Although it is unclear whether or not these patterns will be applicable to other hospitals in and out of the cohort of tertiary care hospitals, ED cycle data can help all facilities anticipate the resources needed and the services required for efficient patient flow. For example, the fact that scheduling of most service departments falls off after 5:00 P.M., just when the ED is most in need of those services, illustrates a fundamental mismatch between service capacity and demand.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15537250). For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit www.myelsevier.com for more information. All other readers, please visit http://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/ to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Reprints and Permissions
  • Index
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more