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EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT THROUGHPUT: Beyond rapid assessment units at Cambridge Health Alliance (case study)

Cambridge Health Alliance (MA) redesigned emergency department processes at its Whidden campus to incorporate patient partners (non-clinicians who do an abbreviated registration) and a rapid assessment unit.  These were effective changes, resulting in a decrease in the median ED length of stay and in the percent of patients who left without being seen.  However, in a later redesign of the emergency departments at two other campuses in the system, the rapid assessment concept was expanded to encompass the entire department.  This brief case study article describes the philosophy of the new emergency department throughput and the roles of different staff members.  How handoffs are handled is also covered.

Interesting statistic: 85 percent of emergency department patients stay in the same ED room that they started in (at Cambridge Health Alliance’s Whidden campus)

Source: Molpus, J.  Emergency department efficiency.  HealthLeaders;16(10):57-59, Dec. 2013.  Click here for access to the publisher’s website: http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/magazine.cfm  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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