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Zoned ED and new triage system improves operations

St. Vincent’s Medical Center (Bridgeport, CT) has improved emergency department operations since 2009 by establishing a zoned model with teams (physician, 2 nurses, and a secretary), providing a Daily Census Report reviewing performance, and setting up a new triage system.  The zoned approach resulted in an informal system of checks and balances among team members.  The triage system divides patients into 3 groups: sick, not-sick, or in between, and then sends them to different areas of the ED for care.  Among other benefits, the new triage system has resulted in a significant decrease in IV costs and a decrease in the number of FTEs/1000 patients seen rate. 

Why I like this article:  1.  These two articles present a nice brief case study of operational performance improvement in an ED.  2. They got great results.

Source: ED revamp: team approach to care reduces errors, boosts patient and clinician satisfaction; and, To reduce ED wait times, streamline triage.  ED Management;23(7):78-81, July 2011.

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