News » Collaborative Among 42 U.S. Hospitals Improves Emergency Department Flow

Collaborative Among 42 U.S. Hospitals Improves Emergency Department Flow

WASHINGTON (Nov. 24, 2015 — Joint Commission Resources, Inc. today released the December 2015 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, featuring an article on an 18-month collaborative among 42 U.S. hospitals across 16 communities to improve emergency department (ED) flow from October 2010 through March 2012.

The article, “Increasing Throughput: Results from a 42-Hospital Collaborative to Improve Emergency Department Flow,” by Mark S. Zocchi, MPH, senior research associate, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C., and colleagues, evaluated hospitals participating in a collaborative through the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) program. Each hospital identified one or more interventions to improve ED flow and submitted data on four related measures: (1) discharged length of stay (LOS), (2) admitted LOS, (3) boarding time, and (4) left without being seen (LWBS).  

As a result of the collaborative, a total of 172 interventions were implemented. Two-thirds of the hospitals demonstrated improvement on at least one measure of ED flow. Among these hospitals, the average reduction in discharged LOS was 26 minutes, admitted LOS 36.5 minutes and boarding time 20.9 minutes. In addition, LWBS rates decreased by 1.4 absolute percentage points.

The authors conclude that successful approaches to ED flow improvement require certain fundamental elements, including engaged leadership, staff buy-in and sufficient resources. Even though most hospitals in the collaborative were able to improve on at least one measure of ED throughput, 14 hospitals did not demonstrate improvement. The authors assert that though CEO support was a requirement of initial enrollment, there was no requirement that the CEO or other corporate C-suite leadership be actively involved in the improvement teams, which may have stalled or even stopped some projects.

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This press release posted courtesy of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. For the full press release, please visit http://www.jcrinc.com/collaborative-among-42-us-hospitals-improves-emergency-department-flow/.