Solving the ED Waiting Game
Emergency Departments (ED) provide critical patient care and perform life-saving medical interventions for patients who arrive with acute medical issues. These people are injured, sick, and require immediate medical attention, not extended wait times in the ED. Some things slow down the process: ED resources are saturated, staff workloads are high, patient acuity is higher, and capacity may be exceeded. As hospital ED administrators and staff, some of these things are out of staff control. Some things aren’t, such as workflow processes and EHR tools.
One of the most common complaints heard by hospital administrators and staff is from patients. Especially, regarding the amount of time spent in the waiting room before seeing a doctor for treatment. Besides potentially compromising patient safety and jeopardizing health outcomes, excessive wait time is frustrating for patients, physicians, and hospital administration. In addition to providing safe, cost-effective, and efficient care, it’s important for hospitals to ensure healthcare consumers have a satisfactory experience.