McKesson And Emergency Nurses Association Unveil ED Benchmarks Collaborative

February 18, 2010

With the increasing demand for emergency department (ED) services amidst decreasing availability of inpatient beds, crowding has become an issue for EDs across the nation. Coupled with limited access to timely, evidence-based benchmarks supported by national-level data, hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to provide optimal care for their ED patients. To help meet these challenges head-on, McKesson has announced the ED Benchmarks Collaborative (EDBC), a joint initiative with the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).

This first-of-its-kind service for the emergency department provides hospital leaders with healthcare business intelligence to identify trends and compare their ED performance to similar organizations. Until now it has been difficult to provide this level of performance detail using only paper-based databases. Using the EDBC, hospitals will have the ability to access current information via the Internet on 17 ED key performance indicators (KPIs) in three categories: throughput, productivity and quality. These measures were developed using consensus definitions from key stakeholder organizations, consideration of the 2010 National Hospital Inpatient Quality Measures from The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and expert insight from the ENA.

"True quality improvement begins with a better understanding of where you are and where you need to go," said David A. Westman, CPA, MBA, executive director of the ENA and chief executive officer of the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. "By working with McKesson on the ED Benchmarks Collaborative, ENA is empowering healthcare leaders and emergency nurses to meet our common goal of improved patient care through enhanced performance metric tracking and greater knowledge of current best practices."

The EDBC is a vendor-neutral offering that provides monthly KPI data, empowering C-level executives as they spearhead organization-wide quality improvement initiatives. The service is easy to navigate. Using an online dashboard, users simply submit existing data and access internal and national trends without the need to purchase additional software or hardware.

Data from prominent organizations shows that the supply of ED services is not keeping up with the demand. According to the Institute of Medicine's report, Hospital Based Emergency Care: At the Breaking Point, between 1993 and 2003, ED visits grew by 26 percent while the number of EDs and inpatient beds declined. The IOM report recommended that hospitals use operational management methods and information technologies to improve hospital efficiency and patient flow to address ED boarding and diversion.

"Hospitals executives are facing considerable pressure to provide optimal care in a cost-efficient manner. To do so, they need to see the forest and see the trees," said Tina Foster, RN, vice president of benchmarking solutions at McKesson Provider Technologies. "We are providing a suite of benchmarking services that will enable organizational leaders to address system-wide quality while also providing the ability to drill down to the details that truly make a difference in the everyday pursuit of improved care."

The ED Benchmarks Collaborative, which is slated to become available in the summer of 2010, is the latest addition to McKesson's existing operating room and radiology benchmarking services. For the past several years, the OR Benchmarks Collaborative (ORBC) has enabled its more than 400 participants to significantly improve patient outcomes and financial results. Demonstrations of the new ED Benchmarks Collaborative will be conducted in booth #401 during the ENA Leadership Conference, February 17-21, Chicago.

About McKesson
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. McKesson has been in continuous operation for more than 175 years, making it the longest-operating company in healthcare today. Over the course of its history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit

About the Emergency Nurses Association
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the only professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing with a mission to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice. Founded in 1970, ENA serves as the voice of more than 36,000 members and their patients through research, publications, professional development, injury prevention, and patient education.