Some benchmarking resources include the following:
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 28 – No 08 – August 2009
- ACEP: www.acep.org.
- VHA: www.vha.com.
- Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance: www.edbenchmarking.org.
- Premier: www.premierinc.com.
- University HealthSystem Consortium: www.uhc.edu.
Appropriately configuring staffing patterns based on volume and acuity is the key to emergency department efficiency, as well as to overall patient satisfaction.
“There are two ways of looking at how staffing affects operational efficiency and service. For one, the more efficient your doctors are, the less coverage you need. On the other hand, if you’re trying to drive throughput or flow through any system with fixed capacity, such as the ED, and if your space is limited, then you actually need higher staffing levels to drive throughput,” Dr. Jensen said.
“So, for example, if ED beds are a rate-limiting step, which they are for many EDs, then you actually need more staff to drive efficient throughput than you would if you had all the beds you needed.”
Part of the “new reality” of patient care is that patient expectations are higher than ever, and with the aging baby boom generation, expectations are likely to increase even further.
“The four key drivers of patient satisfaction are length of stay, the quality of the interactions with providers, the quality of the explanations, and pain management, all of which are affected by appropriate and efficient ED staffing,” Dr. Jensen said.
“Additionally, what puts you at risk for medical-legal issues are incidences of misdiagnosis and misadventures in therapy, and the possibility of such incidents is diminished with sufficient coverage.”