Hospitals Focusing on Improving Care Quality, Increasing Patient Satisfaction in High-Risk ED Visits

National Premier healthcare alliance collaborative stresses consistent, accurate and timely diagnosis to improve treatment outcomes for ED patients presenting with chest and abdominal pain

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- To improve safety, efficiencies and patient satisfaction in the emergency department (ED), hospitals have partnered with the Premier healthcare alliance on a two-year national collaborative.

Premier’s Emergency Department Safety Initiative (EDSI) focuses on improving patient care and satisfaction in the ED through consistent, accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment of high-risk ED patients.

Fourteen participating hospital teams representing more than 730,000 annual ED visits, admissions and discharges will work together toward better treatment of outcomes in the ED through efficient teamwork and communication among emergency healthcare professionals. They will also learn about and discuss best practices for managing these potentially high-risk patients.

The EDSI will initially target patients presenting in EDs with chest and abdominal pain, typically two of the most difficult and nonspecific diagnosis. These conditions are most commonly associated with more severe outcomes such as heart attacks, appendicitis, meningitis and pancreatitis.

“Nowhere is teamwork and communication more important than in a high-risk, high-pressure area such as the ED,” said Karen Profitt Newman, EdD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and chief nursing officer at Baptist Hospital East in Louisville, Ky. “To best serve the patients we treat, we need to be prepared for any and every type of situation that could be presented. Working with and learning from ED professionals and experts from across the country will help us do just that.”

EDs account for 10 percent of all ambulatory care in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 116 million patients visiting them annually, a 26 percent increase since 1996. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, abdominal pain is the fourth highest principal reason for all ED visits in the country, with 4,622,700 visits in 2007. Nonspecific chest pain is the fifth highest principal reason for all ED visits in the country, with 3,766,469 visits in 2007.

Improvement goals set by the EDSI include:

  • Increasing patient safety,
  • Reducing costs, and
  • Increasing patient satisfaction.

“This collaborative will focus on reducing clinical practice variation and improving patient outcomes by addressing the pressing issues in the ED setting,” said Wes Champion, senior vice president of Premier Consulting Solutions™. “For instance, we need to determine the cause of avoidable and unplanned ED readmissions within 72 hours while understanding the components and outcomes related to patient flow and throughput.”

“It will be the experiences of participants in this project that will help to guide the results and improve patient outcomes,” said Premier Insurance Management Services (PIMS) President Robert Dowdy. “Hospital teams will work on quality improvement plans. They will be provided with the tools, resources and ongoing support needed to enhance ED staff and physician practices over the course of the collaborative.”

Participating hospitals are members of American Excess Insurance Exchange (AEIX), RRG, an excess professional liability insurer which funded and developed the project. PIMS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier, provides contracted management services for AEIX. Premier Consulting Solutions is providing day-to-day oversight of the project. Premier has also partnered with Patient Safety Risk Solutions, a national consulting company offering ED clinical expertise, benchmarking information and a national network of experts.

Representatives from Patient Safety Risk Solutions and Dynamics Research Corporation (MedTeams®) are working with PIMS to help each team identify and address priority issues, and provide tools and resources to help the teams improve patient safety.

Web conferences are regularly presented by highly respected ED and risk management experts addressing ED-specific patient safety topics. Upcoming Web conferences will focus on best practices in the ED and promoting effective teamwork and communication in the ED.

Participating hospital teams:


  • Eisenhower Medical Center - Rancho Mirage, Calif.


  • Kuakini Medical Center - Honolulu, Hawaii


  • Methodist Medical Center of Illinois - Peoria, Ill.


  • Baptist Healthcare System
    • Baptist Hospital East - Louisville, Ky.
    • Baptist Hospital Northeast - LaGrange, Ky.
    • Baptist Regional Medical Center - Corbin, Ky.
    • Central Baptist Hospital - Lexington, Ky.
    • Western Baptist Hospital - Paducah, Ky.


  • Baystate Medical Center (Baystate Health) - Springfield, Mass.


  • Fairview Southdale Hospital (Fairview Health Services) - Edina, Minn.

New Mexico

  • Presbyterian Hospital, (Presbyterian Healthcare Services) - Albuquerque, N.M.


  • Summa Akron City Hospital (Summa Health System) - Akron, Ohio


  • Johnson City Medical Center (Mountain States Health Alliance) - Johnson City, Tenn.


  • Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (Texas Health Resources)

About AEIX

AEIX provides excess professional and general liability insurance to not-for-profit hospitals and health systems. AEIX is organized as a Vermont-licensed reciprocal risk retention group, an insurance company authorized under federal legislation for the purpose of providing liability lines of insurance to its members.

About Premier Insurance Management Services Inc. (PIMS)

Incorporated in 1987, PIMS is an Illinois for-profit corporation wholly owned by Premier Inc. PIMS provides contracted management services for American Excess Insurance Exchange, Risk Retention Group (AEIX), and is attorney-in-fact for Premier Insurance Exchange, Risk Retention Group (PRx). PIMS also serves as program manager offering enhanced sponsored programs with leading commercial insurers through a comprehensive portfolio of property, casualty and employee benefit products. Other services include providing claims and risk management assessments and education offerings regarding medical professional liability for hospitals and their physicians. For more information, visit

About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 73,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has an office in Washington. Stay connected with Premier on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Premier healthcare alliance
Alven Weil, 704-816-5797
[email protected]

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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals