Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is a widespread and multifaceted problem caused by many factors including overutilization of the ED by non-emergency patients and a decreasing number of available ED beds nationwide. The flow of patients through the ED is known as throughput process, and many interventions to improve the efficiency have been described in the literature including sorting patients by acuity or condition, placing providers in the triage area, using a flow expeditor role and various technology applications.
This retrospective, comparative study assessed the implementation of an experienced registered nurse in the role of flow coordinator, with the focus solely on moving patients efficiently through their ED course. Three throughput metrics were used to measure ED efficiency before and after the role implementation: discharge length of stay (DCLOS), left without being seen (LWBS) and elopements. While no difference was seen in any of the three throughput metrics with regard to the sample as a whole, there were statistically significant differences between each of the throughput metrics when the sample was partitioned by age and gender. Additionally, though not statistically significant at the p < .05</italic> level, patient satisfaction improved after the flow coordinator was implemented. These findings add to what is known about the science of ED throughput processes as they suggest a flow coordinator may improve patient satisfaction and interventions to improve flow should be individualized to patients based on their age and gender.
|Commitee:||Daly, Gail, Kim, Ann|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Department, Emergency, Flow coordinator, Throughput|
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