With more than 40 percent of healthcare leaders ranking patient flow in the emergency department as their main challenge, they ought to consider adding a hospital medicine emergency department (HMED) team.
That's because an HMED team not only improves patient flow but also reduces ED diversion and provides more timely care to patients boarded in the ED, according to a study in the September Journal of Hospital Medicine.
An HMED team performed active bed management with nursing supervisors and medical floors at Denver (Colo.) Health Medical Center emergency department. Thanks to the HMED team, diversion of new patients because of a lack of beds fell 27 percent. That translated to a drop of 105.1 hours per year of diversion time, which meant a $525,600 boost to annual revenue, medwireNews reported.
The researchers also found that ED discharges jumped 61 percent after the medical center added the HMED team.
Moreover, the team received high satisfaction scores from ED staff. In fact, more than 90 percent of emergency staff reported better care quality, communication and clinical decision-making due to the HMED team, medwireNews noted.
In addition to a HMED team, other best practices hospitals can use to improve ED flow include delivering express care, operating or partnering with urgent care centers and boosting physician recruitment.