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ED process improvement project decreases LWBS rate

A patient flow improvement project at Baylor Medical Center (Garland, TX) has led to a significant decrease in emergency department length of stay and the left-without-being-seen rate.  The hospital team realized that staffing and ED bed capacity were not issues; rather, it was process and procedures that were creating bottlenecks.  Among the innovations that were implemented was to shorten the triage process into a quicker screening.  Additionally, in a team approach, physicians are able to see a patient before a nurse generates the chart.  With improved signage, appropriate patients are now able to walk to radiology, for example, rather than being escorted.   Also, the charge nurse role has been revised to focus more of a managerial “traffic cop” function.

Source: Turn to staff for dramatic improvement in wait times, productivity.  ED Management;23(9):102-104, Sept. 2011.  Not available on the web.  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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