Emergency setting

Innovations

Statewide Initiative Focuses on Early Diagnosis, Care Team Activation, and Patient Transfer, Leading to More Timely Treatment for Heart Attack Patients 06/22/10

A statewide program in North Carolina promotes early initiation of evidence-based heart attack treatment through collaboration with trained paramedics and partnerships between and within hospitals, leading to earlier initiation of therapy and faster transfer of patients.

Telephone Nurse Triage System Reduces Use of Emergency Department by Nonurgent Patients, Reducing Wait Times, Length of Stay, and Patient Walkouts 06/07/10

A hospital-based telephone triage system allows patients to describe their symptoms to a nurse, who uses an algorithm to assess acuity and determine the best setting for treatment, leading to reductions in emergency department patient volumes, wait times, average length of stay, and walkouts.

Transferring Admitted Emergency Department Patients to Hallway Beds Leads to Lower Length of Stay and Higher Patient Satisfaction 05/14/10

In instances of institutional overcrowding, a protocol allows patients admitted to the hospital but boarded in the emergency department to be transferred to beds located in inpatient unit hallways, leading to expedited patient placement in a room, lower length of stay, and higher patient and staff satisfaction.

Emergency Department-Based Phlebotomists Expedite Blood Sample Collection and Turnaround Time, Reduce Specimen Contamination and Cost, and Increase Patient Satisfaction 05/11/10

During peak census hours, phlebotomists are assigned to work in the emergency department to quickly collect blood specimens and label them for priority processing and analysis by laboratory staff, leading to faster turnaround times, lower rates of blood culture contamination, more than $400,000 in annual cost savings, and higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Referral System Allows Responders to Connect 911 Callers to Needed Community-Based Services, Reducing Nonemergency Calls 04/08/10

Firefighters and emergency medical technicians use a computer-based system to connect 911 callers, particularly those who call frequently in nonemergency situations, to community-based health, social service, behavioral health, and other services, leading to meaningful reductions in nonemergency calls, particularly among frequent callers.

Protocols, 24-Hour Neurologist Access, and Ongoing Training Lead to More Patients Receiving Timely Stroke Diagnosis and Treatment 02/22/10

A comprehensive initiative to improve stroke care features protocols to facilitate faster evaluation and diagnosis, quick administration of tissue plasminogen activator when indicated, 24-hour access to a neurologist, enhanced discharge planning, improved documentation and data collection, continuous staff training, and community outreach, leading to more timely administration of appropriate diagnostic tests and treatment and to many more eligible patients receiving tissue plasminogen activator.

Separate Emergency Center for Older Patients Leads to High Levels of Patient Satisfaction, Detection of Polypharmacy, Increased Volume of Patients, and Low Rate of Return Visits 11/24/09

A separate emergency center for older patients includes physical features to reduce anxiety and discomfort, staff trained in geriatric care, and routine followup monitoring after discharge, leading to high levels of patient satisfaction, detection of polypharmacy, increased patient volume, and a low rate of return visits.

Concurrent and Retrospective Chart Review, Performance Reporting, and Other Support Significantly Improve Adherence to Core Measures in Four Clinical Areas 10/27/09

Concurrent and postdischarge nurse chart review, performance feedback, and other support lead to near-perfect adherence to recommended care processes for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgery.

Hospital Employs Emergency Department–Based Physical Therapists, Leading to Improved Quality, Efficiency, and Patient/Physician Satisfaction 08/25/09

Emergency department–based physical therapists provide care to patients with minor musculoskeletal problems, leading to anecdotal reports of improved quality, efficiency, and patient/physician satisfaction.

Patient Flow Improvements Eliminate Ambulance Diversions and Reduce Waiting Times for Inpatient Beds 02/25/09

A hospital used a multipronged strategy to reduce delays in patient admission and discharge, eliminating ambulance diversions and reducing waiting times for patients who require inpatient admission.

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