Joanne FuellRN, BSc, manager of patient placement and central transport atLakeland Regional Medical Center, offers four keys to moving patients in and out of the Emergency Department as quickly as possible, thereby cuttingLeft Without Being Seen (LWBS)to zero.
Strategic priority: “The biggest change we made to improve patient throughput was making it the no. 1 strategic priority of the organization as a whole. Set high goals with regard to patient throughput, and ensure that the goals are transparent and everyone in the organization understands them.”
Leadership involvement: “Having leadership support is essential to improving patient flow. C-suite executives should be involved in setting goals with regard to patient throughput and ensuring that they are met. Lakeland holds regular meetings with leadership present to discuss current work processes and ways to improve throughput.”
Cultural change: “To improve the flow of patients through the ED, an organization’s culture needs to become patient-centric. Overcrowding in the ED is not the responsibility of the ED alone — it is the responsibility of the entire organization. For example, the department that receives the patient after treatment in the ED should be prepared, allowing for a swift transfer. Every staff member is responsible for efficient patient throughput and should be held accountable.”
Data Analysis: “LRMC used data to prove and disprove all of its processes regarding patient throughput in the ED. Simply analyzing data isn’t enough — data needs to drive change. Goals with regard to improving patient throughput should be derived from data.”
After making those changes and implementing TeleTracking’s Capacity Management Suite™ system,Lakeland cut the number of patients who were leaving without being seen from four percent down to zero. Beyond serving those patients better and retaining revenue, this reduction meant public word-of-mouth about bad wait times also tapered off, resulting in more ED and hospital volume.
With emergency department visits on the rise everywhere — it’s important to lay the groundwork to improve efficiency throughout the hospital. TeleTracking can advise you on how to get the ball rolling at your institution so you, too, can cut LWBS to zero!
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